Exodus 20:16 (NRSV)
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Proverbs 6:16-19 (NIV)
There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes,
a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.
by Jennifer Creagar, Community Assistance Coordination Director
Author Anne Lamott, in her book Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers says, “My belief is that when you’re telling the truth, you’re close to God….So prayer is our sometimes real selves trying to communicate with the Real, with Truth, with the Light.”
We can always tell God the truth, even when the truth is “I really messed up, and I don’t know what to do” or “I’m frightened,” or even “Lord, I’m really mad at you right now.” God loves the truth and, in Proverbs 6:17, we see a lying listed with the murder of innocents in the list of things God hates.
God is serious about the truth because what God wants from us is our real self, the self we don’t show anyone. When we tell God the truth, we can dig down to the core of our life and then God can help us throw out the parts that are rotten. When we tell God the truth, we receive the blessing of forgiveness and peace, grace and understanding. Prayer is the safe place to do that digging, the blessed place to receive God’s grace and forgiveness.
Let’s pray for truth!
Lord God, who made us and knows our real selves,
help us come to you speaking only truth.
Teach us how to avoid the embellishment of words and explanations,
excuses, and justifications.
Help us see the truth in you and respond with our deepest thoughts and hidden hearts. Amen.