Proverbs 6:16-19, “There are six things the LORD hates – no, seven things He detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord among brothers.”
Acts 5:4, “You have not lied to men but to God”
One bright sunny day, four high school boys couldn’t resist the temptation to skip their morning classes. After the lunch hour they finally showed up at school and reported to their math teacher their car had a flat tire. Much to their relief she smiled and said, “Well, you missed a quiz this morning, so please take your seats and get out a pencil and paper.” Still smiling, she waited as they settled down and got ready for her questions. Then she said, “First question, which tire was flat?”
My brethren, we live in a world that is highly competitive and our society actually conditions us to lie. Webster’s dictionary defines lying as being “an untruth, falsehood; something that creates a false impression,” etc. A Falsehood is defined as being a statement that distorts or suppresses the truth, and an untruth is defined as being an incorrect statement. Remember this, there is but one way around telling the truth, and that is to lie.
On many occasions our employers ask us to lie for them. Such as the secretary who covers for the boss when he doesn’t want to be disturbed or the salesman who makes claims for his product which aren’t true are both lies. Many times our embellishments for job recommendations for friends and acquaintances are nothing but lies. A poll was conducted some time ago by George Barna asking adults if they agreed with the following statement:
“There are no absolute standards for morals and ethics.”
Seven out of ten individuals surveyed said they agreed with it. That means in a room with ten people seven of them would deny that there are any objective moral rules that should govern their behavior! With this kind of pervasive outlook, it’s very evident to see why lying and deception are so much a part of our culture and society! If there’s no objective truth about our moral choices, then the basis for our decision to be truthful in any given circumstance will always depend on self-serving reasons and for a believer in Christ, this isn’t an option.
While writing this devotional my thoughts were of the lies made by Ananias and Sapphira, who thought they were only deceiving Peter and the other believers. However, the apostle said to them, “You have not lied to men but to God.” A truthful person has nothing to hide, but the person who lies pays an awful price for their dishonesty. One lie leads to another to cover up the previous one, and eventually the liar is caught in their own web of deceit. Proverbs 19:5 puts it this way, “A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who speaks lies will not escape.”
For a follower of Christ, however, the most important consideration is that truthfulness reflects our relationship with the Lord. Lying is the language of the devil (John 8:44), but those who belong to Christ are to be known as people of truth (Ephesians 4:15; Colossians 3:9). Lying may seem like a convenient way out, but it’s really a dead-end. The right and only sensible choice, therefore, is to speak the truth.
The road that leads to misery
Is caused by a tongue that wags;
So, beware of lying lips, my friend,
And a mouth that boasts and brags … Shade
The best way to avoid lying is to do nothing that needs to be concealed.