High on the list of God’s tough commands for us is telling the truth. I’ve told my 9-year-old son Steven many times that if he wants us to trust him in a few years with a car and all of the responsibilities of being a teenager, he has to tell the truth in everything now!

Truth, honesty, and trust are the basis of every good relationship. But being trusted by others is just one reason God’s command “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor” is so important (Eph. 4:25). Another good reason is that the Lord hates lying. Proverbs 6:19 lists it as one of the seven things God hates: “A false witness who speaks lies.” And John 8:44 tells us that Satan is a liar and the father of lies.

Lying can be so easy. It often seems like the best way to avoid a sticky problem or to protect ourselves from the results of other bad choices. But it always backfires. That’s why when Joseph’s brothers lied about selling him into slavery they spent the rest of their lives worrying about the consequences (Gen. 37:31-33; 50:15).

Don’t lie. It’s one tough command from the Lord, but it is the best way to please Him and win the respect of other people.