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Honesty, they say, is the best policy, a statement with which the Bible is in agreement. Giving false testimony is condemned (Ex 20:16); Prov 24:26 tells us, ‘an honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.’ When we live honestly and with integrity, we can be trusted and relationships can flourish. Where deceit and dishonesty rule, there is strife and doubt. The book of Proverbs has much to say about truth and lies: ‘An honest witness does not deceive, but a false witness pours out lies,’ for example. (Prov 14:5)

Our society is sometimes called a ‘post-truth’ society, with the OED defining ‘post-truth’ as ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.’ This kind of society is dangerous, because people’s personal beliefs and emotions can vary so greatly; we need objective truth to guide us or we can be at the whim of every passing fancy.

Ananias and Sapphira faced God’s judgment because they decided their own rules and lied about what they had done, pretending the amount they had given for the sale of their property was the whole amount, when in actual fact they had kept some of the money back for themselves. They were not honest with Peter and the apostles and were certainly not honest with God, even though He sees the heart (1 Sam 16:7) and nothing is hidden from Him. (Luke 8:17) God desires inward truth (Ps 51:6); honesty will always be the best policy, not only with God, but also with people.