Today’s words of wisdom come from Proverbs Chapter 17, verse 4 and shows us how we become liars and don’t even know it.
“A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.”
Let’s take a look at this. Picture yourself tomorrow morning at your office or workplace. There you are minding your own business, mentally prioritizing your To Do’s, and say you go for your first cup of coffee. While your pouring your java a coworker bustles in just bursting to tell you something.
You turn your attention away from your much anticipated first cup of coffee and your coworker begins to tell you a dirty joke. You like the guy so you listen and laugh even if it isn’t funny. He slaps you on the back and walks away laughing.
Did you know that you have just now given your ear to a naughty tongue? Did you know that this coworker just dumped a label on you? By listening to this dirty joke, this naughty tongue, you now have four invisible letters on your forehead – L I A R.
Proverbs 17:4 needs no clarification. God’s work needs not further interpretation. There is no way around it. You have become a liar and did not even know it. I cannot tell you what an impact this little verse had on me once I truly read it.
Now begins the rationalization. ‘I didn’t say it”, “I was just being social”, “For heaven’s sake, would you have me be rude?”
The truth is, yes, for heaven’s sake and more importantly for your own sake. Reject the naughty tongue and loose the label of liar. Once you find yourself rejecting this kind of talk, you will be amazed at how much of it is in your life. I certainly was.
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Keiki- I appreciate your desire to encourage people from God’s word and your desire to point them to a Godly life. I am however going to disagree with some things that you said in your post. It seems like to me, and you may have not intended this, that your post defies the truth of who real Christians are as it relates to their position in Christ. 2 Corinth 5:17 tells us that if we are in Christ we are a new creation the “old” liar is gone and the “new” has come. Simply because a Christian would, in sin, listen to a dirty joke they do not become a liar. Christ has changed the very core of who we are. Christians at their core are not liars. Christians do lie at times and without question that is wrong. Our motivation for turning away from the dirty joke should not be a “fear” of being a liar. But rather it should be motivated out of a deep love for our savior who created us in His image. The dirty joke degrades and devalues what He made. It devalues His image. One is a motivation of fear the other is a motivation of love. I do believe that Proverbs 17:4 needs clarification. As Christians at our core we are neither “Evil doers” or “Liars”. We are sons and daughters of the most high God who live under no condemnation (Rom 8:1). The Gospel frees us from being liars and evil doers. In the end I appreciate your application. We do need to not just “be social.” We do need to stop conversations that we see not glorifying God. Regardless of how uncomfortable it might make us. The motivation however is very important. We need to be motivated out of our love for Jesus not out of fear of condemnation.
Looking at several different translations also calls your reading of this into question. One translation is : liars listen to liars.