Category Archives: Truthfulness

Be Alert to The Times

“And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do…” (1 Chronicles 12:32).

The Bible makes a significant statement about the chosen men of Issachar. They were men who had “understanding of the times.” If ever there was a time we needed to be aware of what is taking place in our culture it’s now. We need to understand the times in which we live. As men especially, we need to be alert to the spiritual dangers which affect our families.

In today’s culture, we are seeing the fruits of a belief system that has rejected any idea of absolute truth. Some people say that it doesn’t matter what you believe – just so long as you live right. But what you believe determines how you live.

If you believe that you are the product of evolutionary chance and that you are not responsible to God for your actions, then that belief system will be reflected in your behavior. If you believe that you are created in the image of God and will one day stand before Him, then that will have a profound impact on how you live your life.

Postmodernism is the term used to describe the time period in which we currently live. A time in which we are told that everything is relative. What might be true for me is not necessarily true for everyone else. Truth, we are being told, is what you believe it to be. This kind of thinking now dominates our culture through the media and our education system.

But knowing the truth is the most important issue in life. Pilate asked the greatest question to the greatest authority – he asked Jesus, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). Truth is God’s perception of reality, not ours. And the Bible is our source of ultimate truth. The more I seek God through His Word and understand who He is and what He requires of me, the more I understand what is true.

If ever there was a time we needed to get back to the absolute truth and authority of the Bible, it’s now. Make sure that you pass on to your children the conviction that God’s Word is our source of ultimate Truth – not Hollywood or the media; not their teachers at school or lecturers at university; not their peers or even what they feel in their emotions.

Truth is what God says and it’s who God is. And whatever contradicts the words and character of God cannot ever be truth.

Morris Hull, Home Life Ministries

Christ’s Imputed Righteousness

In John Bunyan’s Pilgrims Progress, Christian is on his way to the Holy City. Along the way he meets Apollyon (or Satan). Satan accuses Christian of being unfaithful to God. Christian replies, “Wherein, O Apollyon! have I been unfaithful to him?” Satan answers, “Thou didst faint at first setting out, when thou wast almost choked in the Gulf of Despond; thou didst attempt wrong ways to be rid of thy burden, whereas thou shouldest have stayed till thy Prince had taken it off; thou didst sinfully sleep and lose thy choice thing; thou wast, also, almost persuaded to go back at the sight of the lions; and when thou talkest of thy journey, and of what thou hast heard and seen, thou art inwardly desirous of vain-glory in all that thou sayest or doest.”

Here Satan reminds Christian of his many sins. He accuses him of being unfaithful. But listen to Christian’s response: “All this is true, and much more which thou hast left out; but the Prince whom I serve and honour is merciful, and ready to forgive; but, besides, these infirmities possessed me in thy country…and I have groaned under them, been sorry for them, and have obtained pardon of my Prince.”

Christian was using the breastplate of righteousness to protect him from the ruthless accusations of the enemy. He reminded himself and Satan that he had been pardoned of his sin and he was clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Mark Bubeck says, “There is no stronger protection against Satan’s accusations about our unworthiness than to keep this truth of ‘imputed righteousness’ ever before our minds.”

Five Probing Questions on Truthfulness

  • Have you corrected the lies that you told in the past and asked forgiveness for them?
  • Do you tend to exaggerate the facts in order to gain approval from others?
  • Have you made right any cheating on past tests?
  • Do you tell God the precise sins which you commit and ask His forgiveness?
  • Have you ever boasted to your children that a clerk undercharged you or that you found money or possessions on the street without turning them in?

Character Clues Game

Rather Be Right Than President

Famous men of the past have bequeathed us statements that have become mottoes. History declares that Henry Clay was about to introduce a certain bill in Congress when a friend said, “If you do, Clay, it will kill your chance for the presidency.”

“But is the measure right?” Clay asked, and on being assured it was right said, “I would rather be right than be president.”

The Watchman Examiner

Penny – Golden Rule Merchant

James Cash Penny’s first venture as a retail proprietor – a butchershop in Longmont, Colo. – opened in 1899 and failed almost immediately, after he refused to bribe an important local hotel chef with a weekly bottle of bourbon. “I lost everything I had,” said Penny, “but I learned never to compromise.”

Penny’s unwavering faith in the copybook maxims of his youth roused scepticism in a mercenary age, but his credo underlay his success. At his death in 1971, Penny, 95, left a 1.660-store empire that he built without compromising the stiff principles he had absorbed from three generations of Baptist preacher ancestors. He neither smoked nor drank, and for years demanded the same abstemious conduct from his employees. “I believe in adherence to the Golden Rule, faith in God and the country,” he often said. “I would rather be known as a Christian than a merchant.”

Until his final illness, he worked regularly at Penny’s mid-Manhattan headquarters, where he kept five secretaries busy with volumes of correspondence.


Pass It On (Game)

As children sit or stand in a circle, whisper a message in the first child’s ear. The first child then whispers it to the next, being careful to accurately report the original message. Each child quietly passes the message to the next until it finally reaches the next child. The last child then tells the message out loud to compare it with the original message and see if everyone was truthful.

-Character First! Education Series 1, Booklet 3

What Honesty Did for Abraham Lincoln

He was called “Honest Abe.” This sobriquet was given to him at New Salem, Illinois, whither he went to take charge of the “country store” of one Orfutt, in 1831. He was about twenty-two years of age, awkward, bashful, but strictly upright. He took no advantage of the ignorance or necessities of customers, but represented goods just as they were, gave scripture measure and weight, and always hastened to correct mistakes.

One day he sold a bill of goods, amounting to two dollars and six cents, to Mrs. Ducan, living more than two miles away. On looking over the account again in the evening, before closing the store, he found that Mrs. Ducan paid him six cents too much. “That must be corrected to-night,” he said to himself; so, as soon as he had closed the shutters for the night, he posted away with the six cents surplus to her house. She was preparing to retire when he knocked at the door, and was very much surprised, on opening it, to see Orfutt’s clerk standing there. Apologising for the mistake, Lincoln deposited the six cents in her hand, and slept all the better that night for having corrected the error.

At another time, a woman came to the store late in the evening, when Lincoln was closing it, for a half pound of tea, which was weighed in haste. Immediately after she left, Lincoln locked the store and went home. On returning the next morning, his attention was called to the scales which had a four-ounce weight, instead of eight in them. He knew at once that he must have given the woman a quarter instead of a half pound of tea. Weighing another quarter of a pound, he closed the store and delivered it to the customer, asking her pardon, before commencing the labours of the day.

Such examples of honesty were not overlooked by the public. Men and women talked about them, and extolled the author of them. They led, also, to something more. In that part of the country, at that time, various games prevailed in which two sides enlisted; and it was the custom to appoint an umpire for each game. Lincoln became the universal umpire, both sides insisting upon his appointment on account of his fairness. His honesty won the confidence of all.

One Henry McHenry planned a horse-race, and applied to Lincoln to act as judge…the party against whom his judgment weighed, said, “Lincoln is the fairest man I ever had to deal with. If he is in this country when I die, I want him to be my administrator, for he is the only man I ever met with that was wholly and unselfishly honest.”

Dr. Holland said, “When Lincoln terminated his labours for Orfutt, every one trusted him. He was judge, arbitrator, referee, umpire, authority on all disputes, games, and matches of man-flesh and horse-flesh; a pacificator in all quarrels; everybody’s friend; the best natured, the most sensible, the best informed, the most modest and unassuming, the kindest, gentlest, roughest, strongest, best young fellow in all New Salem and the region round about.”

This is a just encomium; but it never could have been said of him but for his unbending honesty, a quality for which he was known from his boyhood. The honest boy makes the honest man.

When Lincoln became a lawyer, he carried to the bar this habitual honesty. His associates were often surprised by his utter disregard of self interest, while they could but admire his conscientious defence of what he considered right. One day a stranger called to secure his services.

“State your case,” said Lincoln. A history of the case was given, when Lincoln astonished him by saying:—

“I cannot serve you; for you are wrong, and the other party is right.”

“That is none of your business, if I hire and pay you for taking the case ” retorted the man.

“Not my business!” exclaimed I, Lincoln. ” My business is never to defend wrong, if I am a lawyer. I never undertake a case that is manifestly wrong. ”

“Well, you can make trouble for the fellow,” added the applicant.

“Yes,” replied Lincoln, fully aroused; “there is no doubt but that I can gain the case for you, and set a whole neighbourhood at loggerheads. I can distress a widowed mother and her six fatherless children, and thereby get for you six hundred dollars, which rightly belong as much to the woman and her children as they do to you; but I won’t do it.”

“Not for any amount of pay?” continued the stranger.

“Not for all you are worth,” replied Lincoln. ” You must remember that some things which are legally right are not morally right. I shall not take your case.”

“I don’t care a snap whether you do or not !” exclaimed the man, angrily, starting to go.

“I will give you a piece of advice without charge,” added Lincoln. “You seem to be a sprightly, energetic man. I would advise you to make six hundred dollars some other way.”

He undertook the celebrated Patterson trial, a case of murder, supposing the accused was innocent. Before the evidence was all in, he became satisfied that the man was guilty, and withdrew from the case, leaving his partner to conduct it. The accused was acquitted, but Lincoln would not take a cent of the one thousand dollars paid to his partner for services.

Lincoln’s professional life abounded with similar incidents, leading Judge David Davis to say, “The framework of his mental and moral being was honesty. He never took from a client, even when the cause was gained, more than he thought the service was worth and the client could afford to pay.”

The time came, in 1860, when Lincoln’s honesty was needed to save the nation. Slavery threatened to overthrow the Republic unless it was allowed to become universal. North and South there was distrust, alienation, and apprehension. The retiring President had governed for the South, in the interest of bondage. Loyal citizens had lost confidence in public men. The next President must be one whose character would challenge the respect and confidence of loyal people, or the ship of state would go under in the fearful storm gathering. Abraham Lincoln was the man. He could be trusted. Friends of the Union gave him their implicit confidence, and became a unit. His honesty had reached its highest value, and saved the Republic by destroying slavery.

Taken from Gaining Favor with God and Man by William M. Thayer, 1893

The “I Wills” of Truthfulness

  • I will tell the truth
  • I will encourage others to tell the truth
  • I will not cheat or steal
  • I will admit it when I am wrong
  • I will not exaggerate to make things seem different than what they are

Contrast right and wrong ways to report past facts using the five “I Wills” as an outline

Share a personal illustration from your own life of when you were truthful or deceptive. Be sure to emphasise that there were benefits to being truthful and consequences to telling lies.

Character First! Education Series 1, Booklet 3


(1) Preciousness of
# Ps 119:72,127,162 Pr 23:23
(2) Attitude of the Wicked toward
# Isa 59:4 Jer 9:5 Ga 3:1 2Th 2:10 1Ti 6:5 2Ti 3:8

# Joh 1:14 14:6 18:37

# De 32:4 2Sa 7:28 Ps 33:4 146:6 Isa 65:16
# Ro 3:4 Tit 1:2 Heb 6:18

(D) TRUTHFULNESS, the duty of
# Pr 12:19 Zep 3:13 Zec 8:16 Mal 2:6 2Co 12:6 Eph 4:25 6:14

(1) Warnings Against
# Le 19:11 Ps 5:6 31:18 101:7 120:2 Pr 12:22 19:9 21:6
# Col 3:9 Re 21:8
(2) Liars Condemned
# Ps 63:11 Pr 19:5,9 Isa 44:25 Re 21:8 22:15
(3) Examples of
# Ge 3:4 4:9 27:24 37:32 Jos 2:4 2Ki 5:22 Mt 28:13
# Ac 5:8

(1) The Wicked Full of
— Their words
# Ps 36:3
— Their Counsels
# Pr 12:5
— Their kisses
# Pr 27:6
— Their houses
# Jer 5:27
— Their hearts
# Mr 7:22
(2) The Prevalence of
# Ps 116:11 Pr 20:17 Isa 28:15 Jer 9:5 17:9 Mi 6:12 Na 3:1
# Ro 3:13
(3) Deceivers, the work of
# Ro 16:18 2Co 11:13 Eph 4:14 2Ti 3:13 Tit 1:10 2Jo 7
# Re 18:23

(1) Religious Persons guilty of
# Ge 12:13 20:2 26:7 27:19 1Sa 21:2 1Ki 13:18 2Ki 6:19 10:18
# Mt 26:74
(2) General Examples of
# Ge 3:4 Jos 9:4 Jud 3:20 2Sa 13:6 2Ki 5:22 Mt 2:8

How to Demonstrate Truthfulness

to God

  • Clear your conscience by confessing secret sins
  • Realise that nothing is hid from God
  • Recognise that there is a cost of hiding from God (Proverbs 28:13)
  • Fulfil past promises and vows
  • Put on the “Belt of Truth”

to Parents

  • Clear your conscience with them
  • Never promise anyone not to tell your parents
  • Seek your parents approval on all friendships
  • Do not secretly listen to music that you know your parents would disapprove
  • Share with your parents areas of moral weakness and ask for their help and protection

to your Employers

  • Be punctual
  • Respect your employer’s property and time
  • Refuse to compromise the truth in order to gain money

to your Church Leaders

  • Be accountable to your pastor or church leader
  • When you sing a hymn, ask yourself, “Do I really mean these words, or how can I make them true right now?”
  • Make sure that the music you listen to is true to the nature of God rather than the sound of the world

Some of the above material taken from Character First! Education Series 1, Booklet 3


Bible Verses Related to Truthfulness

Spend an evening (or several) looking at just one of these verses at a time. Don’t forget to ask your children the questions: Who? What? Where? Why? When? and How? Discuss with your family what each verse or story teaches about the character quality; and give vital application of how this quality can be applied to your family. Choose several verses to memorize together as a family.

NOTE: The lists below show the uses of the major Hebrew and Greek words which refer to truthfulness in the Bible. The lexical definitions are taken from Strong’s Concordance.

0571 ’emeth {eh’-meth}
contracted from 0539; TWOT – 116k
AV – truth 92, true 18, truly 7, right 3, faithfully 2, assured 1, assuredly 1, establishment 1, faithful 1, sure 1, verity 1; 127
1) firmness, faithfulness, truth
1a) sureness, reliability
1b) stability, continuance
1c) faithfulness, reliableness
1d) truth
1d1) as spoken
1d2) of testimony and judgment
1d3) of divine instruction
1d4) truth as a body of ethical or religious knowledge
1d5) true doctrine adv
2) in truth, truly

  • Exodus 18:21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place [such] over them, [to be] rulers of thousands, [and] rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:
  • Exodus 34:6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
  • Joshua 24:14 Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.
  • 1 Samuel 12:24 Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great [things] he hath done for you. {how…: or, what a great thing}
  • 2 Chronicles 31:20 And thus did Hezekiah throughout all Judah, and wrought [that which was] good and right and truth before the LORD his God.
  • Psalm 15:1-2  LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? {abide: Heb. sojourn}  He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
  • Psalms 19:9 The fear of the LORD [is] clean, enduring for ever: the judgements of the LORD [are] true [and] righteous altogether. {true: Heb. truth}
  • Psalms 40:11 Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me.
  • Psalms 51:6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden [part] thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
  • Psalms 91:4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth [shall be thy] shield and buckler.
  • Psalms 117:2 For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD [endureth] for ever. Praise ye the LORD.
  • Psalms 119:142 Thy righteousness [is] an everlasting righteousness, and thy law [is] the truth.
  • Psalms 119:151 Thou [art] near, O LORD; and all thy commandments [are] truth.
  • Psalms 119:160 Thy word [is] true [from] the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgements [endureth] for ever. {Thy word…: Heb. The beginning of thy word is true}
  • Psalms 145:18 The LORD [is] nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.
  • Proverbs 3:3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:
  • Proverbs 12:19 The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue [is] but for a moment.
  • Proverbs 14:25 A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful [witness] speaketh lies.
  • Proverbs 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD [men] depart from evil.
  • Proverbs 23:23 Buy the truth, and sell [it] not; [also] wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.
  • Zechariah 8:16 These [are] the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates: {execute…: Heb. judge truth, and the judgment of peace}

0530 ’emuwnah {em-oo-naw’) or (shortened) ’emunah {em-oo-naw’}
from 0529; TWOT – 116e; n f
AV – faithfulness 18, truth 13, faithfully 5, office 5, faithful 3, faith 1, stability 1, steady 1, truly 1, verily 1; 49
1) firmness, fidelity, steadfastness, steadiness

  • Deuteronomy 32:4 [He is] the Rock, his work [is] perfect: for all his ways [are] judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right [is] he.
  • Psalms 33:4 For the word of the LORD [is] right; and all his works [are done] in truth.
  • Psalms 100:5 For the LORD [is] good; his mercy [is] everlasting; and his truth [endureth] to all generations. {to all…: Heb. to generation and generation}
  • Psalms 119:30 I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgements have I laid [before me].
  • Proverbs 12:17 [He that] speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit.
  • Proverbs 12:22 Lying lips [are] abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly [are] his delight.

08537 tom {tome}
from 08552; TWOT – 2522a; n m
AV – integrity 11, upright 2, uprightly 2, uprightness 2,venture 2, full 1, perfect 1, perfection 1, simplicity 1; 23
1) integrity, completeness
1a) completeness, fulness
1b) innocence, simplicity
1c) integrity

  • Psalms 25:21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.
  • Psalms 101:2 I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.
  • Proverbs 10:29 The way of the LORD [is] strength to the upright: but destruction [shall be] to the workers of iniquity.
  • Proverbs 19:1 Better [is] the poor that walketh in his integrity, than [he that is] perverse in his lips, and is a fool.
  • Proverbs 20:7 The just [man] walketh in his integrity: his children [are] blessed after him.
  • Proverbs 28:6 Better [is] the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than [he that is] perverse [in his] ways, though he [be] rich.

225 aletheia {al-ay’-thi-a}
from 227; TDNT – 1:232,37; n f
AV – truth 107, truly + 1909 1, true 1, verity 1; 110
1) objectively
1a) what is true in any matter under consideration
1a1) truly, in truth, according to truth
1a2) of a truth, in reality, in fact, certainly
1b) what is true in things appertaining to God and the duties of man, moral and religious truth
1b1) in the greatest latitude
1b2) the true notions of God which are open to human reason without his supernatural intervention
1c) the truth as taught in the Christian religion, respecting God and the execution of his purposes through Christ, and respecting the duties of man, opposing alike to the superstitions of the Gentiles and the inventions of the Jews, and the corrupt opinions and precepts of false teachers even among Christians
2) subjectively
2a) truth as a personal excellence
2a1) that candour of mind which is free from affection, pretence, simulation, falsehood, deceit

  • John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
  • John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, [but] grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
  • John 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
  • John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
  • John 4:24 God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth.
  • John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
  • John 8:44 Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. {of his own: or, from his own will or disposition}
  • John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
  • John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, [even] the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
  • John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
  • 1 Corinthians 13:6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; {in the truth: or, with the truth}
  • 2 Corinthians 13:8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.
  • Galatians 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
  • Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also [trusted], after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
  • Ephesians 4:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
  • Ephesians 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
  • Ephesians 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
  • 2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
  • James 3:14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
  • 1 John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
  • 1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
  • 1 John 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
  • 1 John 2:21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
  • 1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
  • 3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.