Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.
Buy the truth and do not sell it – wisdom, instruction and insight as well. (NIV)
Have you ever seen truth for sale in a supermarket? It is sometimes a fact that product labeling hides the truth that something may be bad for our health, or that our bargain is the result of a supplier taking a loss so that the supermarket can make even larger profits. Who do you think funds the ‘buy one get one free’ promotions? Not the supermarket, that’s for sure.
Perhaps selling the truth might be a good sales tactic. Potential customers might flock to a store with a reputation for truthfulness. In a 1970s UK sitcom a certain Reginald Perrin set up a shop called ‘Grot’ with sales slogans such as; ‘every single thing in this shop is guaranteed absolutely useless,’ and ‘plenty of gifts for people with no taste.’ The fact that the shop was a runaway success was an indication perhaps of the value that Reggie Perrin’s customers placed on the truth. Within two years Grot expanded to a chain of forty-four shops.
Solomon knew the value in truth. He measured its worth on an equal basis with wisdom, instruction, and understanding. If we value the truth too, then we have a responsibility to ensure that we are as truthful with others as we expect others to be with us. Honesty is so important that it was included among the Ten Commandments (do not testify falsely against your neighbor – Exodus 20:16). Jesus taught that we will all be required to give an account on judgment day of every idle word we speak (Matthew 12:36). An idle word could be an untruth, a word spoken without thought, or an opinion expressed without understanding. A wise person takes the greatest of care with items of great value. How careful are you with the truth?