Henry David Thoreau said, “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.” Imagine the difference it would make in our world if that theme were heard as often as those catchy and memorable advertising jingles by Coca-Cola or McDonald’s.

Truth is essential to all our interactions— in the halls of government, the classroom, the workplace, the home. Truth-telling builds trust. As I tell my children, “If you tell a lie about one thing, it will be tough to believe you about anything.”

There are hundreds of reasons to support the idea that telling the truth is best for us and for society, but the most vital reason is that it honors God. Truth is at the heart of who He is (Ps. 31:5), and it is how He wants us to interact with others.

Throughout the Proverbs, a book that clearly gives us God’s thinking about moral and ethical principles, the standard of truth is held high. We find statements such as these: “He who walks with integrity walks securely” (10:9). “The truthful lip shall be established forever” (12:19). “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord” (12:22).

Truth cannot be refuted. It never grows old. It never has to be retracted. It never fails. It is the language of God. There’s nothing better for us to do than to tell the truth.