Truth be told
Is there really any other way to live? I mean, really, live? When we fail to tell the truth, we deaden ourselves. We move away from the Light of Christ and we move towards the Prince of Darkness. We move from the true good to the absence of God in our lives. So, I ask you again, is there really any other way that you would want to live, other than with the fullness of Truth?
Truth is defined as living an upright life, both in action and speech, tactfully and with kindness. God is Truth and “from Him truth moves into the world and gives it solidarity. Truth penetrates all being and gives it its nature; its light shines into the human mind and gives it that brightness which we call knowledge.” 1
Truth is non-contradictory. With God being Truth, God cannot contradict Himself! God cannot lie. God as Truth transcends into our own reality, through the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. Through Jesus, we are instructed in all Truth. Jesus affirms moral truths through the teaching of the Beatitudes and the reinforcement of the Ten Commandments. Jesus Christ provides a living example for us to follow.
God has an expectation that we live in the Truth, united to Christ. He says as much in Lev. 19:11: “Thou shalt not lie.” In Deut. 5:20 it is worded slightly differently, but with the same meaning: “Thou shalt not bear dishonest witness against your neighbor.” Therefore, the Truth must be told, at all times, as a matter of habit; as a matter of virtue.
Truthfulness means that one tells the truth, not only once but again and again, so that it becomes a habit…And one should not only speak the truth but should do it, for one can lie also through actions, attitudes, and gestures, if these seem to express something which is not so. 2
Therefore, you cannot pick and choose the occasions to be honest versus dishonest. Lying is not telling the truth. Lying is sinful. Tactfully finding ways to be truthful, and at the same time not sin, is a topic for another discussion that we will touch upon after we finish discussing the virtue of truthfulness.
In the meantime, what are the unforeseen consequences of lying? We’ll address the answer to that question in our next reflection. Don’t miss it!
- Guardini, Romano. Learning the Virtues that Lead You to God. p. 26, Manchester: Sophia Press Institute. Print. 1987
- Ibid, p. 16