Proverbs 12:22 The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful.
Is it okay sometimes to not tell the truth or to deliberately mislead? Are ‘white lies’ appropriate sometimes? Are there ever situations where avoiding hurting someone’s feelings should take priority over telling the truth? Are ‘half-truths’ okay? What qualifies as dishonesty?
Have you ever done something like this? You’re running late for an appointment – say 20 minutes late because you got busy and forgot the time. En route to the appointment there is a traffic accident that delays you 2 minutes. Upon arriving at your appointment, you apologize for being late and inform them you were delayed by an accident on the highway. The impression you want to give is that your tardiness is due to something beyond your control – a highway accident – versus your own negligence.
Think of being asked the question, “What were you doing?” Suppose you were playing or reading stuff on the internet instead of working; or watching an inappropriate movie; or visiting inappropriate websites; or looking at inappropriate magazines. How truthful will our answer be? This brings up an entirely different subject of “What is inappropriate?” which we will look at later.
Our God is a loving God. But He also informs us of His view of actions and behaviors. Today’s verse is rather unambiguous to say the least. On the one hand He detests those who lie and delights in those who tell the truth. Note that it isn’t just the lies that He detests – it’s the one telling them! Conversely, He delights not only in truth but in the one telling the truth.
Here is today’s verse in the Amplified version, “Lying lips are extremely disgusting and hateful to the Lord, but they who deal faithfully are His delight.” The point isn’t to bring condemnation, but to bring God’s word into play in an important area of our lives. The world thinks nothing of lying. The world would answer the questions in the opening paragraph with a resounding “Yes!” Unfortunately, far too much of the world is roosting in the lives of Christians.
While it is unpleasant to ponder the idea that God might detest some things we are doing, it is redemptive if we turn to Him and ask for His help to change. We are commanded to please Him. A more redemptive view is that we “Get to please Him!” What a blessing it is when His Word and His Spirit show us areas in our lives where we fall short. He enables us to repent and change – to replace our unrighteous actions with righteous ones. He doesn’t leave us to ourselves, but is committed to enabling us to live lives that bring Him delight.