[Jesus said] “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”
Simply Yes or No
It slips out so easily—a small, little lie. “Harmless,” you tell yourself. Maybe you said it because you thought it would protect someone’s feelings. Or perhaps the lie was just more convenient than the truth this time, and a small, little lie would save you an argument and a bunch of hassle.
A 2016 scientific study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience found that if a person starts telling little lies for their benefit, those lies will grow bigger and bigger over time. Researchers even discovered that the part of the brain that triggers danger in telling lies gets less and less active the more lies a person tells. In other words, you can condition yourself to feel less and less guilt the more you lie.
But Jesus has a harsh warning against lies. He tells his followers to speak the truth so consistently, so faithfully that people will believe them with a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’ A truthful person doesn’t need to swear because their honest reputation is all the assurance anyone needs. Jesus says that anything more than a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ comes from the evil one.
That evil one is Satan. Jesus describes Satan as the father of lies, and anyone who speaks lies is speaking the language of Satan. So those little lies that seem so harmless are actually dangerous. And lies that seem innocent are really condemning.
Truth and lies come down to trust. It’s easier to trust someone who you know is truthful. And in the same way it is difficult to trust someone you know who has lied to you. Thankfully, God does not lie. He keeps all his promises. You can trust him when he says that he loves you. You can believe him when he promises that all who trust in Jesus as their Savior are saved. And you can trust that God is with you and will not forsake you even when telling the truth is hard for you.
Dear God, thank you for always speaking the truth so that I know I can trust in you with all my heart. Help me to tell the truth in love in every word I speak. Amen.
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