The story is told of four high school boys who couldn’t resist the temptation to skip morning classes. Each had been smitten with a bad case of spring fever. After lunch they showed up at school and reported to the teacher that their car had a flat tire.
Much to their relief, she smiled and said, “Well, you missed a quiz this morning, so 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?”
Everyone has told a lie. Like my mom used to say, some lie when the truth sounds better. There are lies all around us but we pay no attention to them. Ever hear the following statements?
“The check is in the mail. One size fits all. Offer limited to the first 100 people who call in. We will keep your resume on file. This hurts me more than it hurts you. Open wide, this won’t hurt. Your table will be ready in five minutes. I just need a minute of your time. It’s not the money, it’s the principle.”
While these may seem innocent, lying is a huge problem and also considered a huge sin. Let’s look at some Scripture. Psalm 34:12 says, “Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.” We must do whatever it takes to keep from speaking lies. Proverbs 6:16-19 tells us the Lord hates a lying tongue as much as those who kill the innocent and a wicked heart.
Austin O’Malley said, “A lie has no legs. It requires other lies to support it. Tell one lie and you are forced to tell others to back it up. Stretching the truth won’t make it last any longer. Those that think it permissible to tell white lies soon grow colorblind.”
You must get hold of a lie before it turns you into a liar and destroys your life. One must remember, lying comes from Satan. John 8:44 says, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” When you lie, you place yourself under the headship of the devil himself.
Another thing my mom always used to say was, “honesty is the best policy.” How do you break the habit and spirit of lying? First, you must tell the truth completely. Proverbs 28:23 says people appreciate frankness more than flattery. Secondly, you must tell the truth consistently. Proverbs 11:3 tell us integrity guides the upright and double talk destroys the unfaithful. Thirdly, you must tell the truth lovingly. Ephesians 4:15 encourages us to speak the truth in love and grow up! Lastly, you must tell the truth tactfully. Truth is meant to set free, not tear down (John 8:32). Reckless words pierce like a sword but the wise tongue brings healing (Proverbs 12:18).
Remember the words of Proverbs 16:23, “A wise man’s heart guides his mouth and his lips promote instruction.” Your mouth only speaks what is in your heart (Luke 6:45). You don’t have a lying problem, you have a heart problem. Give your heart to the ways of the Lord and He will correct your speech.
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Stephen Harrison is associate pastor of Family Church at White Hall.
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