«For my mouth will speak truth; wickedness is an abomination to my lips» (Proverbs 8:7).
After their departure from Egypt, the people of Israel had reached the borders of Canaan. Moses then asked twelve young men to go and scout the land (Numbers
13:18-20). The spies traveled through the land for forty days. Upon their return, they brought with them a huge cluster of grapes that testified to the abundance of their new home. That is when they delivered their report: «We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there» (Numbers 13:27, 28).
Discouraged because of the pessimism of his companions, Caleb interrupted them: «Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it» (Numbers 13:30). But, prisoners to discouragement, the spies insisted: «The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sigh€’ (Numbers 13:32, 33). A land that swallows its inhabitants? Did they really look like locusts in front of the Canaanites? It is clear that these men were very frightened and gave a report tinged with exaggerations in order to have an effect on the leaders of the people of Israel.
A lie has four primary forms: deceit, half-truths, flattery, and exaggeration. For some people, exaggerating may seem harmless, however, it is a form of lying and destroying God’s plans, as the spies did. In addition to being a channel of falsehoods, a person who exaggerates gradually loses credibility in front of others. This is why it is better to eliminate this bad habit out of our lives.
Words are the vehicle to convey our thoughts. The tongue is just the conduit. So, through our words, we reveal who we are. Therefore, moving toward spiritual maturity requires that we learn to speak the right words, in the right time and for the right reason (see Deborah Smith Pegues, 30 Days to Taming Your Tongue, Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2005). As the apostle Peter said: «He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit» (1 Peter 3:10).
Pray to the Lord so that out of your mouth only the truth comes out