Bible Reading: 1 Kings 22:6, 13, 15-16
Tell me nothing but the truth. 1 Kings 22:16, NIV
WITNESSES IN A courtroom are told to lift their right hands and promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Have you ever wondered why they don’t just promise to tell the truth and leave it at that? Well, it’s because some people may tell the truth-but not the whole truth. Others may tell the truth but add a lie to it.
See if the following examples help you understand why truth must be pure and complete in order to be truth:
|The Whole Truth||Less Than the Truth||More than the Truth|
|Philo T. Farnsworth invented the technology that made television possible.||Philo T. Farnsworth invented television.||Philo T. Farnsworth invented television, radio, CD players, microwaves, and laser guns.|
|In the 1700s, politicians like George Washington often wore powdered wigs.||George Washington wore a wig.
|George Washington wore a wig and other sissy clothes.|
|Charles Lindbergh was the first person to fly alone across the Atlantic Ocean.||Charles Lindbergh was the first person to fly across the Atlantic Ocean.||Charles Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic to bring back Limburger cheese.|
|Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.||Jesus was a great teacher.||Jesus, Muhammad, and Michael Jordan are all God.|
|I left my unfinished homework at home.||I left my homework at home.||My dog ate my homework before I could finish it.|
See the difference? Telling the truth (but not the whole truth) can be deceiving. And, of course, adding a lie to the truth is no better.
That’s why the courts-and God, as a matter of fact-want us to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. God wants us to be completely truthful in what we say and do because he is completely true in everything he says and does. He says, “I, the Lord, speak only what is true and right” (Isaiah 45:19).
REFLECT: Which do you want your friends, family, teachers, and others to tell you:
a. the truth?
b. the whole truth?
c. nothing but the truth?
d. all of the above?
Which do you think your friends or parents would choose? Why?
PRAY: “Lord, I want to be truthful in all I say. Help me not to add or subtract anything that will make what I say something other than the truth.”