by Jeff Strite

This content is part of a series.

Damaging the Truth (1 of 5)
Series: That Ain't Right
Jeff Strite
Ephesians 4:17-32

OPEN: I once read the true story of a husband and wife that returned from a day of shopping to find that the light on the answering service was flashing. The husband went over and activated the machine. The only message was from a friend of his wife Janet. The friend had called to say she had applied for a job and needed a character reference - basically someone who could verify she was honest and trustworthy and she said she had given the interviewer Janet's name.
Then the friend said that there had been a form for Janet to sign. ''But I couldn't find you,'' the friend concluded, ''so I forged your signature.''

APPLY: Throughout the Bible there's a powerful emphasis on God's people being honest.

Psalms 15:1-2 declares: ''LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart.''
Psalms 51:6 ''Surely you desire truth in the inner parts.''
In John 4:24 Jesus said ''God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.''
James 5:12 warns us ''Above all, my brothers, do not swear- not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your 'Yes' be yes, and your 'No,' no, or you will be condemned.''

And of course our text today tells us: ''…each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.'' Ephesians 4:25

ILLUS: Back in 1996 a psychologist at the University of Virginia (Bella D. Paulo) did a study of 147 people between 18-71 who were asked to keep a diary of all falsehoods told they had told over a week.
He found that most people lie once or twice a day.
He estimated that each of us lies in 20% of social exchanges lasting 10 or more minutes.
In one week alone, 30% of us deceive others in one-on-one interaction (Psychology Today 5-6/97)

In addition, this psychologist found th ...

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