21 Top Bible Verses about Honesty and Stories of Integrity

As a parent, there are times when you need an object lesson to help your child understand something.  These Bible verses about honesty and stories about dishonesty provide examples of what can happen when a person tells the truth or doesn’t.

These Bible verses about honesty and Bible stories about honesty can help your child learn the value of telling the truth.  As you explore and share these Bible stories with your little children, pray that God will help your child develop integrity and be honest in all they do so they can live with a clear conscience and a pure heart.  Honesty is one of the good fruits of a good conscience and honest things.  

Each of these Bible stories and Bible verses about honesty has severe consequences for the liar or for other people who were impacted by a lying tongue.  Honesty is something that impacts more than the righteous lips of the person telling the truth or dishonest man or woman who lies.  

Sometimes, those consequences can cost other people their lives, their possessions, or their happiness.  The importance of honesty is a lesson that should be modeled consistently as a faithful witness to following the law of the Lord.

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Bible Verses about Honesty

Each of these Bible verses about honesty can help share the lesson that God loves honesty and detests lying and dishonesty.  As you read these verses, think about they relate to the character of God.  

In Hebrews 13:8 we read that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”  That means that He always tells the truth.  He doesn’t tell the truth sometimes and promise things that He won’t be truthful on later.  This is our example.  

  • Proverbs 12:17 – An honest witness tells the truth, but a false witness tells lies.
  • Proverbs 14:5 – An honest witness does not deceive, but a false witness pours out lies.
  • Proverbs 16:11 – Honest scales and balances belong to the Lord; all the weights in the bag are of his making.
  • Proverbs 16:13 – Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value the one who speaks what is right.
  • Proverbs 24:26 – An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.
  • Isaiah 59:14 – So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter.
  • Jeremiah 5:1 – Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, look around and consider, search through her squares. If you can find but one person who deals honestly and seeks the truth, I will forgive this city.
  • Proverbs 26:28 – A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin. 
  • Psalm 31:18 – Let their lying lips be silenced, for with pride and contempt they speak arrogantly against the righteous.
  • Proverbs 10:18 – Whoever conceals hatred with lying lips and spreads slander is a fool.
  • Proverbs 12:19 – Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.
  • Proverbs 12:22 – The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.
  • Proverbs 26:28 – A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin.

Bible Stories about Honesty and Dishonesty

Reading and sharing stories about honesty and lying from God’s Word can help children develop integrity. Stories can provide honest evidence and help children think through the consequences of the actions of honest work and doing what’s right in the Lord’s sight.

If you want your children to grow up to be people of integrity, you need to be a witness of an honest life, share stories of honest people, and teach them the way of God through truthfulness. An honest person can be and example of the trustworthiness of the Word of God.

The Serpent in the Garden (Genesis 3)

The Bible nearly begins with a story of dishonesty in the Garden of Eden.  Satan posed as a serpent and started telling lies to Eve.  As Adam and Eve listened to those lies, they disobeyed God and as a result, were cast out of their beautiful garden home.  

Satan’s lies about God multiplied as Adam and Eve lied about their whereabouts when God came calling.  Their disobedience and dishonesty made them afraid and separated them from God.  T

hey blamed others for their actions and decisions which ended up with Satan blaming God!  The good days of seeing the face of the Lord each day, turned into the destruction of their perfect life.  

Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 20)

After God called Abraham to follow Him to a new land, he and Sarah set out on a journey that didn’t have a known destination.  As they traveled through enemy territory, Abraham was concerned that his wife was beautiful and anyone who saw her might try to take her.

So he and his wife, Sarah, conceived a plan to tell people that she was his sister.  This was partial truth and she was his half-sister, and in the sight of men, it was understandable, perhaps, but she was also his wife.

As they traveled, Abimelek, the king, sent for Sarah and took her.  God spoke to Abimelek in a dream and told him not to touch Sarah because she was really Abraham’s wife.  As a result, God threatens judgement on Abimelek if he takes Sarah.  In the sight of God, the word of truth was that Sarah was Abraham’s wife and God was big enough to protect her without a lie.  

Jacob and Esau (Genesis 25:27-34 and Genesis 27 and 28)

You probably already know this story about twin brothers who were each especially loved by one parent.  This in and of itself created issues because Rebekah wanted Jacob to succeed and Isaac wanted Esau to succeed.

This battle between parents and sons turned into outright lies and deception as Isaac was on his deathbed.  Esau goes hunting as his father’s commandment while Rebekah encouraged and helped Jacob dress in his brother’s clothes, fix his brother’s favorite meal and then go to his father to tell him the untruth that he was Esau and take his brother’s blessing.  

In the sight of man, this might have seemed like a smart way to go about getting what had been promised or what they felt Jacob deserved, but the Word of the Lord and His promises don’t need individuals doing hidden things of dishonesty to try to make His promises come true.  

The story ends with two brothers in dispute and Jacob running for his life to protect himself because he knew he had been deceptive and his brother was rightfully angry with him.  Jacob leaves home and never sees his mother again.  

Rachel and Leah (Genesis 29)

After Jacob ran away from Esau, he ended up going to his uncle’s home and ends up working for his uncle Laban.  He falls in love with Rachel and makes arrangements to work for 7 years to be able to marry Rachel.  At the time of the wedding (after 7 years of working for his uncle), Laban deceives Jacob and brings his other daughter, Leah, to marry Jacob.

Jacob ends up having to work for another 7 years to be able to marry Rachel.  Jacob had worked hard and God had blessed him with flocks and herds and expanded his family.  But Laban kept changing his wages and promising different things.

The story ends with Jacob fleeing from Laban and taking his family, flocks, and herds with them as they ran away.  Do you see any similarities between these generations?  When they took matters into their own hands and devised wicked plans, the consequences spread for multiple generations and hurt many people in the process.  

hand holding sign that says "be honesty" as you learn from Bible stories about honesty

Joseph’s Brothers (Genesis 37:12-36)

The story of Joseph has two sides of truthfulness and integrity.  When Joseph is sent to take supplies to his brothers, they see this as an opportunity to get rid of him once and for all.  They sell him to some slave traders and send him off to Egypt.

They realize they are going to have to tell their father a story to cover up their actions and they kill a lamb and spill blood all over the beautiful robe that Jacob had made for Joseph.  They take it to their father and let him think that a wild animal had killed Joseph and covered his robe in innocent blood.

The contrast in this story is that Joseph is sent to Egypt as a slave, he is falsely accused and sent to jail, but through it all, the Bible tells us that “the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.”  (Gen. 39:23)  In the eyes of the Lord, Joseph’s behavior was worthy of praise because his good works showed an example of the True God.  Because of the integrity of the upright actions of Joseph, he was promoted from jail cell to the second in command of the country.  He could have been angry in his own heart but instead he was a testimony of the Lord and His true character.  

The story ends with Joseph’s brothers having to tell the whole story to their father after years of grief. Joseph forgives his brothers and brings his family to Egypt so they would have food during the famine.  God turned the evil Joseph’s brother planned and spoke into good but the cost of that was years of separation and loss.  

The previous five Bible stories about honesty and integrity are further entangled because they are one generation after another.  Abraham and Sarah’s son was Isaac.  Isaac’s son was Jacob.  Jacob’s son was Joseph.  Four generations were affected by lies and deception.

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Achan’s Sins (Joshua 7)

After the walls of Jericho fell down as the Children of Israel were marching around the city, the next town they needed to conquer was the town of Ai.  The spies had checked out the city and found that it was a small town and would be easy to conquer.  Their good report encouraged the people as they planned to take the city.

When the Israelite army went up to defeat the town, they were chased back to their camp with many people losing their lives in the process.

As the story unfolded, God told Joshua, the Israelite leader that the defeat was because of stealing and lying in the camp.  As the questions began, it cames down to Achan who had stolen some items from Jericho when they had been explicitly told not to take anything.  He had buried a robe and some gold under the floor of his tent.

As a result of the lies and deception, many people died in the fight with the city of Ai and then Achan and his family were stoned to death.  

Annanias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11)

In the New Testament, the Early Church was just growing and expanding.  Annanias and Sapphira told Peter that they sold a piece of property and were donating the money to the church.  But in their telling of the story, they didn’t disclose the full amount of the sale.  Annanias came first to tell Peter and when Peter questioned him if this was the full amount, Annanias agreed that it was.  At that point, he fell down a died.  Shortly after they had carried his body out of the house, his wife, Sapphira, came to tell Peter the same story.  She also gave the false amount in her account and died upon arriving back at her home.  

This story can be hard to understand because it can sound like God is greedy and wanted all of their money, but if you go back to the beginning of the story, they had promised they would give the whole amount.  When they lied about this, they actually lied to God.  

In Luke 6:38, it says “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  God can provide for all of your needs and He certainly could have provided for and blessed Annanias and Sapphira if they had been honest in their donation.  

A Tree and Its Fruit (Luke 6:43-45)

One of the short illustrations that Jesus used when talking to his disciples and followers was the story of a tree and its fruit.  A good tree doesn’t produce bad fruit and a bad tree doesn’t produce good fruit.  So it is with people.  The mouth speaks from what is in a person’s heart.

This lesson is critical to apply and recognize that the things that are allowed to enter our hearts and minds become the things that come out of our mouths and the actions we produce.  When we spend time listening to the Holy Spirit and seeking the good path of following God, He will develop a good heart in us yearning for eternal life and such things that represent the Kingdom of Heaven.  

When reflecting on the Bible stories about honesty above, you can see that each of these stories is related.  The person who told the lie and wasn’t honest had a significant impact on their own life and the lives of others.

The Dishonest Scales

In Proverbs 11:1 it says “The Lord detests dishonest scales, but accurate weights find favor with him.”  Even in what might seem like a small thing like weighing the grain and spices, God expected people to be honest.  

By using dishonest scales or a false balance, they were cheating and stealing from each other which impacted the good people who were trying to earn a living but having to endure the dishonesty when they tried to sell their goods.  

The person with the false scales was able to amass great revenues at the expense of the farmers.  To say that the Lord hates or detest dishonesty is pretty clear.  It wasn’t just weight of the items, but the deceitfulness of the person using the false scales.  

When God sent His Son Jesus Christ, He lived a life as a person of integrity.  He didn’t care so much about a person’s religion as He did about their heart.  He showed what true worshipers looked like in the sight of all men and in the sight of God.  He lived a life as a man of God even as He was the Son of God.  

3 Ways to Encourage Honesty

As a mother, you have a huge responsibility to train and teach your children to do what is right.  Your influence and example will have a tremendous impact on what they do and who they become.  This can seem like an overwhelming task and responsibility.

But God knows this difficult task and He will give you the courage to stand up for truth, to be a good witness to your children, and to provide the wisdom as you train your children to follow God’s commands.  In the sight of the Lord, that is the biggest job you have as a mom.  

  • Take these stories to heart as you direct your children through your example and your words.  Make sure that your teaching shows integrity and everything you do is setting an example that will help your children make good choices.  Remember that a decision that is made can affect generations in the future for good or evil.  A woman’s or man’s religion do not save them if they are not following God with a whole heart.  Don’t shy away from stories of dishonesty and the natural consequences that come from poor choices and deception.  
  • Talk about honesty and integrity with your children.  Help them to discern the truth and understand what it means to tell a partial truth.  Read stories that help to build their character and talk about the good choices and bad, that are being made in the stories.  Encourage them to tell the whole truth all the time.  Be an example to them in that when you tell stories or share information as well.  
  • Fill your mind with scriptures to help you and your children make good choices.  Memorize promises of God to help you as you raise your children and find verses to help your children learn integrity and honesty.  

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