September 12, 2018
From the writings of the
Rev. Billy Graham
Q: Is misrepresentation to protect myself a lie if it doesn’t hurt anyone else? — T.T.
A: The Bible teaches that proper conduct includes truthfulness. God’s Word teaches that we should be truthful in our representations of ourselves. Jesus denounced the hypocrisy of the scribes and Pharisees! In the Sermon on the Mount, He rebuked all hypocritical giving, praying and fasting.
We should be truthful in speaking of our past achievements in our particular vocation. God does not ask us to understate the facts, but neither does He want us to overrate our achievements of our talents, either in thought or in speech.
We are also to be truthful in our business affairs. All misrepresentations of the quality of our merchandise, all padding of expense accounts, all forging of checks and legal documents, and all unjust alterations of accounts are sins of untruthfulness and indicate lack of proper conduct. The farmer who puts his spoiled wheat between two layers of good wheat when he takes it to the market, or the fruit grower who puts his best fruit on top of what may bruised, are dishonest. The tourist who misrepresents an item that is subject to duty on entering the country and the taxpayer who does not supply the proper receipts are dishonest.
Conducting ourselves in the right way also includes honesty and integrity in dealing with others. Employers in business are to give proper wages for work done, while employees are to put in a full hour’s honest labor for the wages they receive. Be people who can be trusted to tell the truth — always. “Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor’ ” (Ephesians 4:25).