We lie to impress people. We fill out job applications and add little untruths here and there. We pride ourselves in exaggerating our past accomplishments.
Some of us lie to get revenge. We want to discredit other people.
Others lie to make a profit. They try to sell you something that’s not worth all they say it is, so they take advantage of the situation by covering up the truth.
Sometimes we just lie because it’s more convenient to lie. We bluff our children, seeking their compliance by empty threats.
Children lie to escape punishment. And we never grow out of that. You don’t want to get in trouble for surfing the web at work, so you say, “I was looking up a competitor’s address and phone number.” Or you don’t want to get caught doing something bad, so you twist the event and try to squirm out of it.
Distortion is a subtle form of lying. You are telling the truth, but you’re only telling certain parts of the truth in order to make the overall picture tell a lie. So technically, you’re lying without telling lies by the way you’re twisting truths.
Exaggeration is the biggest form of lying. (Hyperbole isn’t a sin. It’s not wrong to say, “That suitcase weighs a ton,” or “I’m starving! Let’s eat!” This kind of exaggeration is acceptable, because we all know it’s not meant to be taken literally. Jesus himself used this kind of exaggeration in his teaching.) But the wrong kind of exaggeration uses words like “never” and “always.”
Listen to a husband and wife arguing. They use these words “never” and “always” throughout the conversation.
You never do anything good for me.
You’ve always got to put me down.
You never help me with the kids.
You always complain.
God prizes the Truth. He himself says he is Truth. This means that untruth, dishonesty, false witness – these things are the very opposite of his being. Lying is contrary to his essence. It’s disgusting to him. It’s like taking the most sparkling clean piece of glass and rubbing manure all over it.
The Bible also says that God is light. Over and over again we see Bible passages that speak of God as enlightening our paths, giving light to our eyes. James, the brother of Jesus, called God the “Father of lights.” Jesus talks about how he is the light of the world and his coming into the world shines light on darkness.
Light inherently reveals. A lie conceals. Light shows what things are like. A lie creates an alternate reality. It tries to hide what is really there, or tries to create something that isn’t there.
Light creates freedom. When you can see things, you can orient yourself to reality around you. But when you’re in the dark, you bump into things and feel inhibited. A lie will enslave you.
Lies are exhausting. Lies contradict the very core of God and the universe. God is light and lies are darkness. God is truth and lies are untruth. So to believe and live and promote a lie is like running through the world, covering your eyes and ears and yelling, “I don’t want to see the truth! I don’t want to see the truth!” trying to convince yourself that reality isn’t reality. That’s pretty exhausting. Especially if you’re trying to convince other people too!
Genesis 3 shows us that the first sin took place with a lie. The serpent told Eve something that God did not say. The Fall began with a lie.
Jesus says that He is the Way the Truth and the Life. He is the Truth. When he stood before Pontius Pilate, Pilate asked him, “What is truth?” That’s the question of our generation. What is truth anyway? And if we try to find truth in ourselves by looking within, or try to find truth in something else, we will fail. Truth is found in a person, because Truth is a person. Jesus is the Truth.
Jesus died because of a lie. Oh yes, he died because people lied about him and falsely accused him. But he died also because of the lie that took root in Eden. When the truth dies at the hands of the lie, the lie is killed and the truth rises again. And when we crucify our lying tongues, the sweetness of truth will rise from our being.
written by Trevin Wax. © 2007 Kingdom People Blog