At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16: 11)
The lip of truth shall be established for ever: But a lying tongue is but for a momentProverbs 12:19
In this proverb we learn that truth is reckoned among the permanent things, while falsehood is transitory, evanescent, ephemeral, fading more and more as the list goes on. Truthful lips endure. Lying mouths are just around for the moment.
This sentiment being true, we should conclude in the first instance that it applies to our circumstances as much as it did when it was written three thousand years ago. How many lies have come and gone during that time? And consider how God’s people are still able to reflect on this truth, and establish their lives in terms of it.
Christians worship and serve the one who identified Himself as the 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). And Pilate, lost as he was, wondered aloud what the truth even was, and he did this when the incarnation of truth was standing just in front of him (John 18:38). We know that the lake of fire is reserved for “all liars” (Rev. 21:8), and we who have put on the new nature found in Christ must be equally careful to cease lying to one another (Col. 3:9). Lying is the native language of the devil, and we are seeking hard to forget that we ever even knew that language (John 8:44). We are called as Christians to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). We worship the Word who is the Truth, and so the words we speak should be words of truth.
We might want to distinguish truths that matter (Jesus rose from the dead) from truths that don’t seem to us to matter that much (whether we left home when we told our boss that we did). We wouldn’t lie about the big stuff, we say, but where is the harm in greasing the skids with what are euphemistically called “white lies”? But our proverb is not talking about the abstract truths lasting forever, such that the archives of Heaven will have a file cabinet somewhere that houses the truth that you left for work at 7:45. It is the lips that last forever. It is the mouth that is transitory.
All day long, as we speak, we are in the process of becoming someone. As we speak the truth, and the more diligent we are to speak the truth precisely, we are being established as those who will in fact live forever. We are growing up into Christ. The permanent things, like truth, belong to the permanent ones.