Proverbs 8:7-9

7 My mouth speaks what is true,

   for my lips detest wickedness.

8 All the words of my mouth are just;

   none of them is crooked or perverse.

9 To the discerning all of them are right;

   they are upright to those who have found knowledge.

 

 The voice of Wisdom continues. She speaks what is true, even when it’s inconvenient. Do you do the same? Some of us lie because we don’t want to be inconvenienced, others in an attempt to impress. Still others lie to obscure their mistakes or take credit for other’s success. Yet wisdom detests such speech and the consequences of it. Lies are traps, often catching the one who sets them. They can turn a minor inconvenience into a major one, ruin a reputation, add insult to injury and provoke resentment.

 This is why Wisdom is careful to speak the truth. “All of the words of my mouth are just,” she says, “none of them is crooked or perverse.” Do you know anyone who could honestly claim this? Those who are committed to truth are in short supply, yet they are often the most respected and admired among us. What would it take to become such a person? It is not easy to always be truthful, one must begin by simply not lying. The next time you are tempted to bend the facts to suit you, pause and ask yourself why. There is a way to get what you’re looking for without living in the shadow of deceit.

 “To the discerning all of them are right; they are upright to those who have found knowledge.” The words of Wisdom are true; they are also right. She is not only careful to be honest, she aims her words towards specific goals. There are many wrong ways to be right, plenty of harmful ways to speak the truth. The discerning know the difference, those who have found knowledge are keen to weigh speech not only by its truthfulness but also by its effect. If you must boast, boast about someone else. If you want to exaggerate, do it in a way that lifts others up. If you want to impress others, be honest about your faults and don’t make excuses – even if you have a true excuse.   

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