Identity Relationships

Keeping Your Word

Unfortunately, honesty is a rare trait in people these days.  It used to be that a man’s word was his bond. Any more people will lie at the drop of a hat if it helps their own best interests.  My parents raised us to always tell the truth.  

According to the Bible, not telling the truth (lying) is sin.  “You shall not lie,” is one of the 10 Commandments.  And God hates it. Over and over again we are told in the Bible to put lying lips far from us and tell the truth.  If you want to be a man God will use in this world, you must have a pure heart and pure speech.


By the way, there is no such thing as “a little white lie.”  A lie is a lie, no matter what color you call it. Even just “stretching the truth” or only telling half of the truth is adding something extra that really didn’t happen or leaving out some important details that would change the story.  Let me put it simply: anything that is not the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is a lie.

Promises Kept

It used to be that a man’s word meant something.  If he said he would do something, he did it. Promises were kept, and a handshake was as good as a written contract.  If any man lied, word spread quickly, and nobody would ever trust him. Have you noticed that it is hard to trust someone who has lied to you?


One of the most important elements of ANY relationship is Trust.  What good is a close friend if you can’t trust him?  Trust is built through Honesty. An honest man is a trustworthy man.  We all need people we can trust. We all know what it feels like to be betrayed or lied to.  It hurts when someone you thought you could trust betrays that confidence you once held in them.

Honor Kept

Arthur Conan Doyle wrote Sir Nigel, a book about a young English Squire (Nigel Loring) who was trying to become a Knight during the Middle Ages.  In those days Honor was very important.  Throughout the entire book when men say that they will do something, they do it.  In fact, they would rather die than break their word.

In the story, Nigel falls in love with a young woman named Lady Mary.  As he is riding off to war with France he vows to her that he will perform three deeds of honor in her name before he will return to marry her.  She, in turn, vows to wait for him, saying that if he falls in battle she will never marry another man.  

It would be more than six years before they would see each other again.

During the war, Nigel captures a French spy, a knight known as the Red Ferret.  Before Nigel would grant the Red Ferret his freedom he required four things from him: His suit of armor, a sum of money, his word that he would no longer spy on England, and that he should travel to England and carry a message to the Lady Mary on Nigel’s behalf.

A month later, Lady Mary is met by the French knight and his servant while she is out on an evening stroll.  He delivers Nigel’s message to her, and as he turns to ride away the Red Ferret says to his aid, “I am a free man again!”  The two of them race off on their horses.

The Red Ferret considered himself a slave to his word.  Nigel had no way of knowing whether or not his prisoner had fulfilled his promise and delivered his message after he had been released.  The French knight could have gone back to spying and never even made an attempt at finding the Lady Mary. But he was a man of Honor.  As with most of the knights in the book, the idea of not fulfilling his word carried so much shame and dishonor that he would rather die than lie.  Death was more honorable than dishonesty. The same thing was true with Nigel and Lady Mary.  They held their word to each other, and though it took years, Nigel performed his three deeds and returned to marry the love of his life, becoming a knight himself in the process.

Examine Yourself

So what about you?  Do you always tell the truth?  Do you keep your word, even when it hurts?  Are you known as a man of your word, or as someone who can’t be trusted?

Warrior On!

Marc Cox

Marc has a passion to encourage everyone God brings across his path to follow Jesus. He loves God and loves his wife and kids. Marc views his job in the construction field as full-time vocational ministry. He studies the Bible, theology, history, and classic literature. He likes black coffee, sleeping under the stars, and backpacking in the Rocky Mountains.

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