17 He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit.
This is one of those passages that does not need much explanation. To sum it up even more:
Truth is good. Lies are bad.
I think there is definitely more to this, however.
First is the negative message: Good people occasionally lie.
I will now rewrite the second half of the verse: “a false witness shows deceit.”
This is why even “little, white lies” fall under “not good” or even “bad” with some people. It is still bearing false witness. It is still deceitful.
It does not necessarily mean a person is full of deceit. In fact, “little, white lies” are often told to spare someone pain, to not hurt the feelings of someone else. Sadly, something is still covered up, hidden, which should be made known.
As much as some Christians can not or struggle to admit, there is some good in all people. I am fairly certain that carries over from Creation, seeing as “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:27). All of humanity carries at least a little bit of God in them.
Therefore, it is possible for non-God-fearers to show forth righteousness. They may not be righteous, but they can still tell the truth (and do other good deeds).
Go and do likewise
Since we now know that speaking truth is showing righteousness, let us get out and spread some righteousness!
People are only made righteous through the work of God, and He desires for all people to cry out to Him.
But like it says in Matthew 5:
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
And as Romans 10 says:
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
Father God, rid us of deceit and lies. Let us only speak what is true. May You embolden us ever more to speak the truth of Your Son, Jesus Christ, that others may hear and glorify Your Name!