" People who think they are religious but say things they should not say are just fooling themselves. Their “religion” is worth nothing." -James 1:26
"I cannot tell a lie, I did cut down the apple tree." This is a famous quote from George Washington's life. To finish the story his father pulls George into a hug and says, "That's okay son, honesty is worth more than a thousand trees."
A simple story yet full of deep truths. Honesty is the best policy for many reasons but let's look at a couple from the Bible. First and foremost, Proverbs tells us that the Lord detests lying lips. With a God so full of love and compassion it means a lot to know lying lips are among seven things He despises and will not stand behind. Yes, He is full of forgiveness and forgives every repented sinner but He still hurts when we choose to lie and rejoices when we speak the truth.
James speaks strongly about lying too. We are called to teach Jesus to the world and our religion or faith bears the name of Jesus. But when we choose to lie our religion becomes worthless. How can anyone learn to trust Jesus from someone who claims to know Jesus but speaks lies?
When we watch our speech and control our words we become the best witnesses of Jesus. Washington was only six and knew that, even if there would be a punishment, he had to tell the truth. The trees would grow back but when we lie we hurt so many around us and we are not sharing who Jesus is. Working together and speaking in truth shows God's love and we can be united in one body when we remain truthful.