Some time ago, Yale University expelled a student for lying. He claimed he had a 3.9 grade point average when he applied, and he forged references from teachers that did not exist. The school charged him with taking $61,475 under false pretenses. His defense? He said his actions were no worse than people who lie on their resumes. When a reporter stated that one politician with lying, he shrugged his shoulder as if to say, “Why are you shocked? What is so bad about lying?” Dishonesty is so pervasive in our society that it seldom raises eyebrows. Yet we desperately need honesty and truth telling in our world. Lying can destroy relationships, foster conflict and mistrust, and even lead to warfare. Perhaps that is why the Apostle Paul, writing to God’s people in Ephesus, urged them not to lie. He sets out a list of virtues they should practice and telling the truth heads the list. Here are his words from Ephesians 4: “Stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” Telling the truth is clearly a value that God delights in and urges us to practice.
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