Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil. (Matthew 5:33-37)
Pastor John’s Notes:
Lies and spin abound in modern culture. These days, we expect people to lie before we expect them to tell the truth. News agencies no longer simply report what has happened but spin it according to their own political agenda. On social media, we present only the best images of ourselves and hide the truth about who we really are. It is human nature to hide our true selves even when we are harmed by doing so. In the garden of Eden, after Adam and Eve sinned, they even tried to hide themselves from God.
As citizens of the kingdom of God, we must come out into the light and learn to live and speak truthfully. The first step in spiritual growth is to admit the truth about who we are. God is ready to speak the truth to us, not for harm but for healing. Also, the basis of our personal witness is a reputation for speaking truth even when it costs us something. Jesus once called the Devil the father of lies, and those who twist the truth are living under his power. As we now follow Jesus, we must learn to live by the transforming power of truth.
Lord, forgive me for the lies I have spoken. Forgive me for hiding my true self from you and from others. Give me a love for the truth, and let me live by its transforming power.