Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“These six things doth the Lord hate; yea, seven are an abomination to Him. A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked imaginations, feet that are swift to run to mischief, a false witness that speaks lies, and he who sows discord among brethren.”
David, speaking to his son in Proverbs 6:16
In Proverbs 6, David listed for his son’s benefit seven things that God especially hates. Thinking on those things recently, I pondered over this question: If God especially hates those seven things, then what are their opposites, for God must especially love them? So, I sat down with my son Elijah and we set about to determine what seven things are especially precious to God. This is the second of those seven precious things.
Many a person uses the tongue to twist or conceal the truth, and many names are used to describe such a bending or concealing of the truth. But God calls all such talk “a lying tongue”, and He hates it.
A lie is an intentional misleading of others for an ungodly purpose. God told Samuel to mislead King Saul (1Sam. 16:1-2), but it was for a holy purpose; so, that was not a lie. Lying and truth-telling are entirely matters of the heart, and it is a lying heart that God really hates, not the piece of flesh called the tongue. There is no such thing as “a lying tongue” without there first being a lying heart, for Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”
A sincere heart is the opposite of a lying heart because a sincere heart is completely without ulterior motives. If someone with a sincere heart does you a favor, he does you that favor without any hidden agenda. He is not after something in return. If he speaks well of you, he speaks well of you because that is how he feels, not merely to curry favor with you so that he can gain something in return.
Jesus found such a man in Nathaniel. When Nathaniel approached Jesus, the Lord exclaimed before the people standing there, “Look! A true Israelite, in whom is no guile.” What an honor from God, to have Jesus describe a man that way! God loves guileless hearts, simple hearts that live without subterfuge. He loves a heart that is what it is and has no secret, self-serving purposes. He promised to bless His children when they sought Him with their whole heart (Jer. 29:13). This must be, as least in part, because those who do anything with their whole heart are like God. God is sincere; He lives for our good, not merely His own; His commandments are only for our well-being and peace; and He sent His Son to show us His humble, sincere nature – meek and loving and faithful.
People whose heart you can trust are the only people whose words you can trust. They bring peace into your life as God does because they are like Him. You can rest in their presence just as you can rest in the presence of Jesus; you don’t have to be on guard. They are not trying to take advantage of you, and you can feel it.
God despises a lying tongue because He despises a manipulative, lying heart. But, oh, how He loves a faithful soul, an honest heart, that lives in love and never abuses the trust that others put in it!