A recent study has found interesting connections between telling lies and better health.
[Steve Myers] There's a new research study that is just out from the University of Notre Dame. I ran across an interesting article that talked about the "science of honesty" - that's the name of the study. So, can you imagine that? The science of honesty. And so it involves lying, imagine this. Here's what the researchers found at Notre Dame. They found that when people manage to reduce their lies - this is over a 10 week period - they reported significantly improved physical and mental health in those same weeks. So they found there's a direct correlation between not telling lies and feeling better. And it's an interesting study when you begin to look at the details of this and the effects of lying on our mental and physical health. There is a connection.
[Darris McNeely] And that shouldn't be surprising to us because lying is certainly something forbidden by one of God's Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17 Exodus 20:1-17  And God spoke all these words, saying,
 I am the LORD your God, which have brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
 You shall have no other gods before me.
 You shall not make to you any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
 You shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
 And showing mercy to thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
 You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain.
 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
 Six days shall you labor, and do all your work:
 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD your God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates:
 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: why the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
 Honor your father and your mother: that your days may be long on the land which the LORD your God gives you.
 You shall not kill.
 You shall not commit adultery.
 You shall not steal.
 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
 You shall not covet your neighbor's house, you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is your neighbor's.
American King James Version×and Deuteronomy 5:6-22 Deuteronomy 5:6-22  I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.  You shall have none other gods before me.  You shall not make you any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth:  You shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,  And showing mercy to thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.  You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain.  Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD your God has commanded you.  Six days you shall labor, and do all your work:  But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD your God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your ox, nor your ass, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates; that your manservant and your maidservant may rest as well as you.  And remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD your God brought you out there through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the sabbath day.  Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you; that your days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with you, in the land which the LORD your God gives you.  You shall not kill.  Neither shall you commit adultery.  Neither shall you steal.  Neither shall you bear false witness against your neighbor.  Neither shall you desire your neighbor's wife, neither shall you covet your neighbor's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is your neighbor's.  These words the LORD spoke to all your assembly in the mount out of the middle of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them to me.
American King James Version×), "Thou shalt not lie" (Exodus 20: 16 and Dueteronomy 5:20). He put that in there as a very important spiritual principle. And all of God's law has certain physical connections to our well-being as well as certainly our spiritual relationship with God. So, from a scriptural perspective, that shouldn't be surprising.
[Steve Myers] Absolutely, when you look at what the researchers said, one of the authors of the study said, "We found that the participants could purposefully and dramatically reduce their everyday lies." Now that was encouraging just to read that because sometimes you think you get in this trap and I can't change, I can't grow, I can't behave that way. And yet these researchers found they could reduce their lies. It was possible. And then they also said, "In turn, that was associated with significantly improved health." And so there is a connection to doing what's right and feeling better. And that's a dramatic thing.
[Darris McNeely] Anyone who tells a lie and knows they are lying and then has to tell another lie to cover up that lie, sets in motion a cycle of behaviors and attitudes and inner conflict a lot of times, which is what this particular study is really getting to, that does impact the mind, the sense of self, and will have some detrimental impacts on peoples' health.
[Steve Myers] Yeah, that was one of the things they mentioned here that when they lied less, they found this in the study, the people had feelings of tenseness or melancholy evaporate. They went away.
[Darris McNeely] It's called having a clean conscience, a clear conscience.
[Steve Myers] Yeah, have a clean conscience and then the result of having that clean conscience, it said they experienced less sore throats, headaches, as well. And so you see that direct correlation between those and it's interesting the study brought that out.
[Darris McNeely] Proverbs 17:22 Proverbs 17:22A merry heart does good like a medicine: but a broken spirit dries the bones.
American King James Version×, I think is one very key thought here that says, "A merry heart does good like medicine, and a broken spirit dries the bones." Lies can be like that broken spirit that just shrivels us up in our conscience, creating all kinds of problems. But a merry heart does good. And having a clear conscience, no fears, no regrets, no concern that we might be found out or caught in that lie that we tell is like a tonic, a medicine that clears our minds and our whole well-being as this scripture, or this study shows.
[Steve Myers] Well, no wonder Christ reiterated the fact that we should not bear false witness because it does us good to tell the truth. One of the interesting things as this study concluded in what it reported about, they posed the question, "Is it difficult to keep from lying in day to day interaction?" And you would think in everyday life that'd be pretty tough. But what they found is that the participants in the study realized they could simply tell the truth about their daily accomplishments. So it was possible not to lie. They said, "Rather than exaggerate," so here we're not talking about gigantic, terrible lies, but we're talking about simple lies that people can get caught up into, just in everyday life. They said, "Rather than exaggerate, they said they stopped making false excuses for being late or failing to complete a task." So even those most simple things, if we do what's right in the little things, we're going to experience good things as a result. And that's a godly principle.
[Darris McNeely] This adds another dimension to what Christ said when He said that the truth shall make you free (John 8:31-32 John 8:31-32  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed;
 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
American King James Version×). You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. Certainly He was talking about spiritual truths, doctrinal truths from the Bible, but the truth as just a way of life and speaking truth to people makes us free of guilt, fear, and all of these debilitating problems that can lead to even physical ailments.
[Steve Myers] That's right. So let's make it our goal to tell the truth, even in the smallest of things. You'll feel better mentally, physically, and most importantly spiritually as well.
[Darris McNeely] That's BT Daily. Join us next time.