Our Bible verse for today: “Lying lips are detestable to the Lord, but faithful people are his delight.” Proverbs 12:22 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “We must demand that the truth be told.”
Proverbs 12:22 is just one of many verses which remind us that God hates lying and deceitfulness, and therefore so should we. Not only must we not be lying and deceitful people, but we shouldn’t tolerate that behavior from others – especially not from elected officials and cultural institutions such as the news media.
Public faith in government and the news media is at an all time low. Overall trust in government runs at 15% for Democrats and 22% for Republicans. Of all government institutions Congress has the lowest approval rating, coming in at just 11%. The military has the highest rating at 87%.
The news media also fares badly. Only 20% of the American public has faith in this important institution. 66% are certain most news outlets are heavily biased in favor of one political party or the other. 47% believe that news reports are frequently inaccurate or incomplete. The BBC, Fox News, and PBS are the highest rated and most trusted news outlets (in that order), CBS, NBC, ABC, and CNN are the least trusted.
The primary problem with government and with the news media is that they lie to us – and we know it. We all know that elected officials frequently distort, exaggerate, shade the truth, tell partial truths, and that they often tell full-on lies. That being the case, we never know for sure if we can believe what they say or not. Likewise, we all know that news outlets are highly selective about which stories they report, and how they report them. Being biased as they are, we can never be sure if we’re being told the full truth or some distorted version of it. All of this shakes our confidence in these important institutions. Lying does that.
General Colin Powell was a four-star Army General, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Secretary of State under President George W. Bush. In my opinion he has been one of America’s great leaders in this generation. He had a set of guiding leadership principles that he called “Powell’s Principles” which he applied to his own life, and which he insisted upon for all those who worked for him. With respect to truth-telling his principle reads, “Messy truth is always better than smooth lies, which unravel in the end anyway.”
When you have the habit of telling lies or distorting the truth, people eventually learn that to be true about you and they will no longer trust you. Why should they? Conversely, if you have the habit of consistently telling the truth, that is what you will be known for.
We must tell the truth ourselves, and we must demand that others do as well.