The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth.Proverbs 12:22 (NLT)
I think most of us can easily agree with the Lord on this one. There aren’t too many people around that enjoy it when people constantly lie to them. Sure, there are embellishments to stories, (The fish was thiiiiiiiiiiiiiis big!) and fictional novels, (Moby Dick was not a real whale) but they pale in comparison to when someone is just making stuff up.
However, there are also those who believe that telling the truth can be wielded like a samurai sword, slicing through people left and right. That whole verse that says “Speak the truth in love?” (Ephesians 4:15, by the way) These type of people believe that love hurts.
Then, we get to the one that is a big pet peeve of mine, those who speak their “truth,” (and wield it like a sword) but their “truth” is actually a horrible lie. If you’ve spent any time on social media in the last few years, this issue has grown bigger and bigger over time. I’m not talking about “fake news.” I’m talking about people reposting articles, or giving status updates that they borrowed from someone else, but didn’t seek to verify the facts of the information for themselves. Just because it’s someone else’s lie doesn’t leave us off the hook if we share it (It’s called propagating the lie). It’s still a sin.
So, what do we do? Stop sharing? Stop giving our opinions? No. Research stuff that is important to you before you open your mouth (or type your update). Always ask, can this be proven to be true? Check the author’s notes. If there aren’t notes, then it’s suspect.
I get emails and phone calls from many people asking my opinion on one thing or another. Whether it’s a book, an article, or an independent ministry, people want me to weigh in. In general, I refuse. Here’s why. I tell them to research the topic for themselves. I help them get started with the research, but they need to learn the truth, not just listen to someone else who thinks they know truth.
So, how do we properly live out this verse? Seek truth in all things. When it comes to our faith, our source of truth comes from two places: the Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16) and the Holy Spirit (John 14:17). Dig into the Word of God. Don’t take other people’s word on the Word. Get into THE Word. Pray, pray, pray. Pray for humility and truth. The two go hand-in-hand.