Read: Proverbs 26:22-28

All lies are sinful, but some are more damaging than others. For example, it is much more harmful to say something untrue about a person than to claim that a fish you caught was very big when it was no more than 6 inches long. Maybe the worst kind of lie is the one that is intended to destroy the character of another. It can even take the form of “telling the truth,” but doing so in a way that suggests something false.

There were two men who worked on a large boat. One day the mate, who normally did not drink, became intoxicated. The captain, who hated him, entered in the daily log: “Mate drunk today.” He knew this was his first offence, but he wanted to get him fired. The mate was aware of his evil intent and begged him to change the record. The captain, however, replied, “It is a fact, and into the log it goes.” A few days later the mate was keeping the log, and concluded it with: “Captain sober today.” Realising the implications of this statement, the captain asked that it be removed. In reply the mate said, “It is a fact, and in the log it stays.”

If you really want to hurt somebody, you can repeat something he said and distort the meaning. In fact, you can be completely accurate but imply a falsehood. All of us should heed the serious warning contained in today’s text. Prov. 26:26 says, “Though his hatred is covered by deceit, His wickedness will be revealed before the assembly.” We should keep in mind that God sees behind the words we speak and He knows each motive of the heart. Although a person’s hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be surely revealed. This is a good reason not to tell a “truthful” lie.

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