The Truth About Lying
The Truth About Lying
By Annette McDaniel
The practice happens with such regularity we tend to dismiss it with a shrug or a sigh. The news is full of it. Opponents accuse one another of it. We even joke about it.
A young man in Sunday School was asked by his teacher to define lying. He replied, “A lie is an abomination to the Lord.” He thought a moment, then rushed on, “and a very present help in time of trouble!” (Prov 6:16 and Psalm 46:1, misquoted)
Sometimes it is whispered, “She lied!” Sometimes it is shouted in accusation, “You know that’s not true!” Either way we cringe because, we hate to admit it, we have all been guilty of the offense. There are even categories: black lies, white lies, fibs, half-truths and more… but… they all grieve the Father’s heart.
The world says lies are useful to bail us out of awkward situations, to spare others’ feelings and enhance social standing. Lying, they say, can even save lives. (The physical life perhaps but what about the spiritual?) People lie for various reasons: to escape punishment; to bolster their self-esteem; to gain something– money, fame or popularity or to avoid some unwanted task.
There are lies of evasion. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Cain, even in rebellion dared not challenge God by denying he knew where Abel was. (Genesis 4:9) There are lies of omission. Ananias and Sapphira used that one when they offered their gift to the first church. (Acts 5). They neglected to give the entire proceeds of their land to the congregation but held back a portion for themselves. No one forced them to give their gift, so why the deception? Perhaps greed and a need to appear more generous than they were? Paul admonished the Ephesians to put away lying and embrace the truth.
We know the source of the problem. The Bible tells us that our adversary is Satan: the father of lies and deception. That old roaring lion is roaming the earth seeking who he can destroy and sometimes we think he is winning. But take heart! God has given us the solution.
Grab your armor and prepare for battle! Our sword is the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. It is our first line of defense. The Breastplate of Righteousness covers the heart. “Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.” (Psalm 119:11) “Keep my heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life”. (Prov.4:23) “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, Oh Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)
The Word reminds us many times to “Be of good courage.” Courage means “of the heart”. So put your heart into the task. Rejoice even in the heat of battle. God has supplied us with everything we need. Trust him! We already know the final outcome.
Jesus tells us that in this world we will have tribulation but He adds, “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33) …Hallelujah!