“A righteous man hateth lying: but a wicked man is loathsome, and cometh to shame.”–Proverbs 13:5
Before he became president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln was a successful attorney in Illinois. His specialty was the then-new field of railroad law, but when the son of a friend was charged with murder and put on trial in 1858, Lincoln agreed to defend him at no cost. During the trial a witness named Charles Allen testified that he had seen the accused, Duff Armstrong, hit and kill James Metzker on the night of August 29, 1857. Allen’s testimony was that though he was 150 feet away, the light of the full moon allowed him to clearly see that Armstrong was the killer.
Once he had Allen committed and on the record with his sworn testimony, Lincoln sprang his trap. He pulled out an almanac for the previous year and showed that the moon on that date was not full but only one quarter—and that at the time of the crime it had barely risen. There was no way that Allen could have seen Armstrong commit the crime as he had testified. The jury acquitted William Armstrong on their first ballot. The truth overcame the lie, and justice was done.
When we are honest and truthful, we demonstrate our commitment to following God and obeying His commands. The temptation to shade the truth, to tell “white lies” or to try to get off the hook by lying always leads to disaster. Much of our society has abandoned honesty as a value and virtue, but that does not make it any less important for us to continue to love the truth. Jesus said, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Though it may seem that lying will work out better in the short run, the truth is always the best course in the end.—–If you are committed to the truth, it will protect you and bring you God’s blessings. –Paul Chappell