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Applying the Character Quality of Truthfulness

Truthfulness vs. Deception

3 min

Truthfulness is communicating by life and word that which is genuine and accurate.

One Hebrew word for truth is ’emeth. It means “stability, certainty, sureness.” It is from the root word ’aman, which means “to build up or support; to foster as a parent or nurse; fig. to render (or be) firm or faithful, to trust or believe, to be permanent. It is also translated as steadfast and verified.

When Jesus emphasized truth, He often said the word verily twice, as in John 3:3 “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Verily is a derivative of the root word ’aman.

Sources of Truth

  • God is Truth
    “Ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he” (Deuteronomy 32:3-4).
  • Jesus is Truth
    “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
  • The Holy Spirit is Truth
    “And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth” (I John 5:6).
  • God’s Word is Truth
    “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17).
  • God’s Law is Truth
    “Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth. . . Thou art near, O Lord’ and all they commandments are truth” (Psalm 119:142, 151).
  • The Gospel is Truth
    “Whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world” (Colossians 1:5-6).

The Power of Truth

There is power in truth, because it is the very essence of God and the means by which He carries out His work in the world.

Truth brings us into Christ

“Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures” (James 1:18).

Truth brings us to the light

He that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God” (John 3:21).

Truth purifies our souls

“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently” (I Peter 1:22).

Truth frees us

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Truth frees us by tearing down false ideas and conclusions that keep us in fear and bondage. “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (II Corinthians 10:4–5).

Truth leads us in the right way

“O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me” (Psalm 43:3).

Truth equips us to worship God

“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23–24).

Truth cleanses us of iniquity

“By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil” (Proverbs 16:6). Lust and addictions hold many in bondage. This bondage comes from a spirit of uncleanness. The first step of purging is crying out to God for mercy. “And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me” (Psalm 50:15). The second step is to confess and repent. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9). The third step is to fill our hearts with God’s truth and meditate on it day and night. “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word …. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:9–11).

We may also need to acknowledge the iniquities of our forefathers (see Daniel 9:16), regain surrendered ground (see Ephesians 4:27), and engage in serious fasting and prayer (see Isaiah 58:6).

Truth preserves leaders

“Mercy and truth preserve the king: and his throne is upholden by mercy” (Proverbs 20:28). It is significant that the throne is not established by truth and justice but by truth and mercy. When people violate truth, it is natural to be harsh, but loyalty is built when a leader teaches truth and demonstrates the fruit of the Spirit. Therefore, we are instructed to speak the truth in love.

Personal Evaluation

  • Do you ask others to point out faults of which you may be unaware?
  • Do you confront your faults with Scripture?
  • Do you exaggerate your achievements to others?
  • Do you lie or tell only part of the truth to escape the consequences of your actions?
  • Do you misrepresent the Lord with inconsistent or negative attitudes?
  • Do you give damaging reports of others to make yourself look good?
  • Do you guard against false teachings by confirming everything you hear with the truth of Scripture?
Explore more about this topic in The Power for True Success

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