Speaking Truth

Text: Proverbs 12:17-19

This passage outlines three reasons why it is important to speak the truth.

Speaking Truth Imparts What is Right (v. 17)

  • Truth is not an opinion – popular opinion / majority rule does not determine what is right
  • Solomon contrasts one who “speaks truth” with a “false witness” – a witness testifies of facts, not opinions; that which can be known; not speculation
  • There is a set standard – truth does not vary from person to person
  • What is truth? (John 18:38) – the message of Christ (John 18:37); the word of God (John 17:17); it is our fixed standard (Psalm 119:89)
  • Therefore, speaking truth means speaking the word of God (1 Peter 4:11)

Speaking Truth Brings Healing (v. 18)

  • This is contrasted with the damage done by one who speaks rashly – we must be careful with our speech (Proverbs 10:19)
  • This healing is not superficial (Jeremiah 6:14) – necessary, even though it may not always be pleasant
  • Healing sin (Isaiah 59:2) – remedy for sin in God’s word (Jeremiah 6:15-16); it must be pointed out (John 16:8) so repentance can take place (2 Corinthians 7:8-10)
  • Healing suffering (Job 14:1; 1 Peter 4:12, 16) – there is no certainty that when we suffer, conditions will eventually improve in this life (1 Corinthians 15:19); but the truth contains a promise of eternal life in heaven (2 Corinthians 4:17-5:2) for those who are faithful (Revelation 22:14)
  • Healing division – Jesus prayed for unity that would be based upon His word (John 17:20-21); division does not come because some uncompromisingly stand for the truth, but because some refuse to submit to the truth (Jude 18-19)

Speaking Truth Causes One to be Established (v. 19)

  • Lying may provide a temporary “benefit” – but in the long term, speaking truth is to our advantage
  • Established in that we have fellowship with God (2 John 9) – agreement is necessary for two to walk together (Amos 3:3)
  • Established in the hope of eternal life – without the love of the truth we cannot be saved (2 Thessalonians 2:10); by following the word, we have hope (1 Corinthians 15:1-2), if we continue in it (1 Corinthians 15:58)

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