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God bless you and greetings in the name of Jesus Christ who was valiant for the truth in John 8.

Jeremiah bemoans the situation in which he finds himself. He is often referred to as “the weeping prophet” (to which Jeremiah 9:1 attests) because Israel was not doing well, and he was frequently moved to tears. The lack of commitment and dedication of God’s people to the truth hurt him deeply.

Jeremiah 9:1-3:
Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people! 2 Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people, and go from them! for they be all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men. 3 And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the LORD.

Jeremiah wrote this by revelation. How terrible things must have been for him to want to respond with tears night and day. God told him to speak these words. Verses two and three tell us why. They were all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men who bend their tongues for lies just like they were shooting arrows. Instead of arrows, they were big, whopping lies! God had given them truth, but they forsook it for lies.

They misrepresented God’s heart. They did not share His compassion, His love. It was just lies; it was all about them and what they wanted. It was not about God and what He wanted. They were not valiant for the truth.

I am so honored to work and be associated with people who are valiant for the truth ― people for whom truth makes a difference. Without the truth, where are we going? On what can we base our lives? What kind of foundation are we ever going to have? Are we ever going to think clearly without knowledge of the truth? God is so gracious to make it known to us.

Jeremiah 9:4-6:
Take ye heed every one of his neighbour, and trust ye not in any brother: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbour will walk with slanders. 5 And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity. 6 Thine habitation is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know me, saith the LORD.

It would be terrible to live in a time like that, when you could not trust anybody. They taught themselves to speak lies. Everyone deceived their neighbors. Lies produce deceit. That is why lies are used: to deceive. That is what the world is all about: deceit and lies. They are fostered by the god of this world, the devil, who is himself a liar and the father of it (John 8:44). That is why we, like Solomon, should also request that God keep deception and lies far from us (Proverbs 30:8 New American Standard Bible).

You may be familiar with the joke that has become a modern-day proverb: “How can you tell a politician is lying? His lips are moving.” Our culture is based on lies. It has learned to accept lies. It has learned to accept deceit. It refuses to accept the truth.

I refused to let my kids watch the Bill Cosby show. It was so funny, but the whole family lied to each other all the time. They just lied and thought it was funny! The whole family thought it was funny. So, after the first few times of rolling on the floor laughing, I thought, “What is this putting in my mind and my heart? What is this teaching my kids? Go ahead and lie to Mom and Dad, but make it funny.”

When we went to South Carolina, my wife and I had an eye-opening cultural experience. We would invite people to come to our home for a Bible fellowship, and everyone sweetly agreed to come. “We’ll come!” they would say with a big smile. But they would not show up. We soon learned they never had any intention to come in the first place. In that culture, it was not considered a lie, it was being “polite.” Rather than offend us by declining to our faces, the Southern culture dictated it was more polite to lie.

We have to bring integrity back to our culture. We have to mean what we say. We have to champion the truth. We have to put away lies and deceit and just speak the truth every man with his neighbor (Ephesians 4:25).

Ephesians is considered by many to be the greatest revelation ever written. In it, God is still telling His people, “Do not lie!” It is the pinnacle of everything He has written in His Word and He is still telling people not to lie. Do not lie to each other! We are a household. We do not do that. We do not live that way. We speak the truth in love.

Ephesians 4:14-15:
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth [alētheuō] in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

The Greek word here in Ephesians four translated “speaking the truth” is alētheuō. Friberg says it means “to tell the truth,” “be truthful,” “speak what is true about God,” or to “be faithful to the truth.” It is the verb form of the noun alēthēs, truth. In English, we do not have a verb form of truth of which I am aware. Perhaps “to truth it” might communicate. Darby translates it “doing the truth,” and the Revised Version adds a center reference of “deal truly.” The New American Version says “living the truth.” The New English Translation says, “practicing the truth.”

I like Friberg’s definition of “to be faithful to the truth.” The point is, that it is not just “speaking the truth in love.” We ought to see truth as a quality of action as well as of speech. Paul wants us to live the truth as well as to speak it. Real spiritual growth is only possible by a way of life that “truths it.”