Let’s Make Progress Toward Being Honest

By Xiaocao

The Lord Jesus once said, “But let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no: for whatever is more than these comes of evil” (Matthew 5:37), “Truly I say to you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). The essence of the Lord is faithful. He likes honest people and said that only the simple and honest people shall enter God’s kingdom. Therefore, He requires that we become honest, make our words and actions fit reality and deceive neither God nor man. When we read these words of the Lord, we are willing to be honest people. However, only when we put it into practice in our daily life do we discover that to be honest is not so simple as we imagine. We often cannot help but lie; though we strive to restrain ourselves, we are still incapable of meeting the requirements of the Lord. In order to solve the problem of telling lies, we even force ourselves to speak less so that we can avoid telling lies. But when we resist the urge to speak and keep things locked in our hearts, we feel upset and distressed: Could it be said that to be honest is to be spare of speech? Always practicing in this way won’t do! Many people can’t help but feel confused: How can we be honest people? What exactly should we do to solve the problem of telling lies?

We often say “The mouth is the door of the heart.” Actually, only when the heart is deceitful does the mouth speak deceit, and only when the heart is deceptive do false words come out of the mouth—our mouths are prompted and controlled by our hearts. If we only restrain our mouth from telling lies by force of will, we will only be able to deal with the symptoms and not the root cause. I once read these two passages in a book, “Why do people engage in deceit? They do it to achieve their own goals and to attain the objectives they desire; as such, they adopt certain methods. Once they take those methods, they reveal themselves to not be just and honorable, and show themselves to be dishonest. At such times, people’s insidiousness and cunning are revealed, or their maliciousness and despicableness. With these things in them, people feel that it is especially hard to be honest; without these things, you would feel that being honest is easy. The greatest obstacles to being honest are people’s insidiousness, deceitfulness, maliciousness, and base motivations” (“The Most Fundamental Practice of Being an Honest Person”), “You can never discover what they mean, nor perceive the source or intention of their words. You do not know what they are trying to avoid because in their heart they have their own story—this is insidious. Do you also often speak in this way? (Yes.) What then is your purpose? Is it sometimes to protect your own interests, sometimes to maintain your own position, your own image, to keep the secrets of your private life, to save your own reputation? Whatever the purpose, it is inseparable from your interests, linked to your interests. Is this not the nature of man? Is not everyone with this kind of nature akin to Satan? We can put it like this, can we not? Generally speaking, this manifestation is detestable and abhorrent. You also now feel disgusted, do you not? (Yes.)” (“God Himself, the Unique IV”).

These words have clearly revealed the source of our telling lies. It turns out that in order to achieve our own ulterior motives and aims, we involuntarily lie and deceive people. We have been deeply corrupted by Satan, and Satan’s poisons such as “As a tree lives for its bark, a man lives for his face,” “Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost,” and “Money talks” have become the root of our existence. We always live for our own vanity, reputation, status, interests, money, fleshly pleasures, and so on; as a result, in order to achieve our own individual goals and to protect our own reputation and status, we often lie to deceive other people, and to deceive God. For example, sometimes in our dealings with others, when we have done something that is not beneficial to them, we do our best to cover it up, and to that end we lie and engage in deception; sometimes for the sake of our own interests or because we want to be looked up to by others, we can’t resist telling lies, and so on. From this we can see that if we don’t know the motivations behind our actions and words, nor resolve our deceitful nature, we can lie and deceive God at any time and in any place, and we will resist God, living in sin. Therefore, if we don’t want to lie, we should first know the intentions and aims behind our words, and then come to despise and curse our corruption. Gradually, we will no longer be willing to lie and engage in deception.

Besides, we all know that God can see deep into the heart of man: He very carefully observes our thoughts and ideas and all that we do, and even if other people don’t notice that we are telling lies, we can’t escape God’s scrutiny. As the Scripture says, “For Jehovah searches all hearts, and understands all the imaginations of the thoughts” (1 Chronicles 28:9), “The spirit of man is the candle of Jehovah, searching all the inward parts of the belly” (Proverbs 20:27). If we want to resolve the problem of telling lies and be honest, we should accept God’s scrutiny in all things and examine our thoughts and ideas at all times. In this way, a heart of reverence for God will gradually grow within us, and when we encounter issues, we will no longer dare to be deceitful or engage in deception for the sake of our own benefit, but instead, we will be able to consciously forsake ourselves and practice being an honest person in accordance with God’s words.

There is nothing that God finds difficult to do. As long as we sincerely rely on God and practice in accordance with God’s requirements, our problem of telling lies will be resolved. May we all progress together toward being honest and live out a true human likeness. Glory be to God! Amen!