Proverbs 14 ESV
2 Whoever walks in uprightness fears the Lord,
but he who is devious in his ways despises him.
3 By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back,
but the lips of the wise will preserve them.
5 A faithful witness does not lie,
but a false witness breathes out lies.
6 A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain,
but knowledge is easy for a man of understanding.
There are so many liars and deceivers now in the world, in the government, in the news media, and in the church, that it is hard to know sometimes who is lying and who is telling the truth unless we can test what they are saying against Scripture or unless we have a way to prove they are lying.
But it isn’t just that. Lying has become so commonplace among all people, including among Christians, that it has become an acceptable means of communication. Flattering tongues are everywhere. It is being promoted within the church to say to people what makes them feel good about themselves, even if they are steeped in sin, and they call that love.
Now, I am not saying we should not be kind to people or that we shouldn’t speak words of encouragement. We should. But we should not speak falsely to people. We should not deceive people. We shouldn’t say “peace, peace” when there is no peace. It is never kind to lie to people.
If we walk in the fear of the Lord, and if the Lord is our trust, and if we believe what his word teaches us, and if we love others as God loves us, we will not lie to them. We will be kind, but we will speak the truth in love to them for their good. We will not willfully withhold truth from them and in so doing knowingly cause them harm.
7 Leave the presence of a fool,
for there you do not meet words of knowledge.
8 The wisdom of the prudent is to discern his way,
but the folly of fools is deceiving.
9 Fools mock at the guilt offering,
but the upright enjoy acceptance.
11 The house of the wicked will be destroyed,
but the tent of the upright will flourish.
Sometimes we will have to part ways with some people who are foolish in their ways and who refuse to gain wisdom and understanding. For, they go headstrong in ways which are not wise and which are not proper (decent) and respectful towards God and others.
They are those who mock at repentance, who think they have the right to live however they want, and who do what is right in their own eyes regardless of who they hurt in the process. They have little to no regard for the Lord’s commandments (New Covenant), but it will not end well for them.
But we are to be those who are wise in the ways of the Lord, who are able to discern our ways, whether they be good or evil. We are to be those who take seriously the Lord’s commands to us in the New Testament, under the New Covenant. And we are to be those who walk in the ways of the Lord and who do not walk (in practice) in the ways of our sinful flesh.
For, God’s grace, which brings salvation, trains (instructs) us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return (Titus 2:11-14).
12 There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death.
14 The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways,
and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways.
15 The simple believes everything,
but the prudent gives thought to his steps.
16 One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil,
but a fool is reckless and careless.
Just because it looks good or feels good doesn’t mean it is good. It may have all the appearance of goodness but be filled to the brim with wickedness. Appearances can be deceptive. So, just because it feels right doesn’t mean it is right, for feelings can be so deceiving.
So, just because you feel good about something it doesn’t mean it is good or that it is right for you or that God approves of it. It may seem right to you, but be wrong, and therefore it ends in death, not in salvation from sin, and not in eternal life with God, for it is not God’s way, but the way of the flesh.
We are all going to reap what we sow on this earth. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction. But if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life (Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8).
The gospel of our salvation teaches us that we must die with Christ to sin and live to Christ and to his righteousness. We must walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. And we must no longer live to please our flesh, but to please God (1 Pet 2:24; Rom 8:1-17; 2 Co 5:15; Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Lu 9:23-26).
22 Do they not go astray who devise evil?
Those who devise good meet steadfast love and faithfulness.
25 A truthful witness saves lives,
but one who breathes out lies is deceitful.
26 In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence,
and his children will have a refuge.
27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
that one may turn away from the snares of death.
Verse 25 is what really jumped out at me here. Too many people today who call themselves Christians are being encouraged to lie to people to make them feel good about themselves, and they are being discouraged from speaking the truth in love to people for their salvation.
They are being taught that it is unkind to speak the truth in love, and that it offends people when we present to them the gospel as Jesus taught it and as the apostles taught it, so we are to “stay in your own lane” and not talk with people about sin, repentance, judgment, or obedience to Christ.
Church has become more of a business being marketed to the world and so they don’t want to offend the world with the truth for they may not come back. And they want them coming back. So, they dilute the truth of the gospel to make it more acceptable to the world and to flesh.
But we are to be people of truth and integrity. We are to be truthful witnesses who speak the whole counsel of God because it is the truth that saves people from their sins, not the lies. And we are to be those who walk in the fear (honor, respect, reverence) of God and not in the fear of man.
Songs in the Night
An Original Work / December 18, 2013
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 NIV ‘84
Lord, I praise You forevermore.
You, my Savior, I now adore.
Hope in heaven awaiting me,
Because You died at Calvary.
I have been forgiven,
And I’m bound for heaven.
Jesus set me free from
All my sin, I say.
I will praise Him always!
Lord, I love You for all You’ve done:
Overcame death, my vict’ry won!
Jesus saved me, and now I’m free!
I rejoice in His love for me.
I will walk in vict’ry!
My sin is but hist’ry!
I am free to please Him
With my life today.
I will love Him always!
Lord, I thank You for giving me
A new life bought at Calvary.
Loving Jesus, I meet with Him.
Tender mercies now flow within.
Lord, I am so thankful;
Through my Lord, I’m able
To sit at His table;
Fellowship with Him.
I will thank Him always!