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Table-Talk: Lies, Liars and Lying!

14/02/2022

Lies, Liars and Lying.

Text. Proverbs 12:22  

What’s a lie? One dictionary defines it: “To make an untrue statement with intent to deceive, or to create a false or misleading impression.”  Lying is a common vice, and sadly most people think little of it; but the 9th Commandment strictly forbids lying.  Exodus 20:16  People think a lie is of little consequence, but God takes lies seriously, for lying is an indication of our human sinfulness and God must punish unrepentant sinners, (Revelation 21:8) so, it must be important for us to look at the subject of lies, liars and lying!

1. The Origin and Originator of Lies. Genesis 3  

Let’s see first of all, where lies came from.  We’ll start with the words of Jesus.

Click here to listen to the PODCAST. (Goes Live on Thursday 24th Feb 2022)

  • Satan is the Source of all Lies. Jesus said, John 8:44  Jesus was speaking to religious Jews who thought that they were the children of God, by their birth.  When Jesus taught them they refused to believe, because they were conditioned to reject truth, to believe lies! These Jews couldn’t handle the truth, and the reason for that was because they were children of a different father, not God the Father, but the devil, Satan, and because they were his children, they wanted to please him.  But the devil is a liar by nature, and always has been.  So let’s see…
  • Satan’s first RECORDED lie. Genesis 3:4-5 God had told the man and the woman that they can eat any plant or tree in the garden, – there was sufficient food for them and all their descendants.  But there was a test of obedience and respect for their Creator, for there was one single tree that of which they were not permitted to eat on pain of death. Genesis 2:16-17 The serpent sowed a seed of doubt in the woman’s mind, “Has God really said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”  In fact God had said there was one tree forbidden.  In his next comment there is a direct lie. You will NOT die.  

The sin that was committed that day has characterised us, children of our father the devil, from that day to this. We are liars because of our sinful nature.  Let’s see how that has affected us today, practically…

2. Lies We Tell Others.

So, our first thought, when we think of lies and lying, is the lies we tell to other people.  Let’s think about them…

  1. White lies?  Is there such a thing as a ‘white lie?’   No, officer… I have no idea how fast I was going.”  Have YOU ever told a lie like one of those? And remember our definition, To make an untrue statement with intent to deceive, or to create a false or misleading impression 0 is to tel a lie. – So, what does the Bible say about ‘white lies?’ Luke 16:10  Colossians 3:9  
  2. Can it ever be right to deliberately lie? John Wesley said, “I would not tell one lie to save the souls of all the world.” Some people will say that it is necessary to lie from time to time, because to tell the truth would be damaging, or hurtful. Colossians 3:9  Here’s some scenarios:
    1. Nowadays, doctors and medical practitioners have agreed that it is always best to tell the truth to a patient, and some do it with little padding at all. In previous years, when a patient was seriously ill, or their condition was terminal, it would sometimes be deemed kinder not to tell them about the extent of their condition. But was that right or wrong?  Should we tell the truth, even if that means we hurt others?  
    2. During the second world war, there were German soldiers going door to door in Germany and Poland looking for Jews who were hiding, and the people who were hiding the Jews lied to the soldiers.  Many people were spared from the concentration camps because of those lies. But lying is a sin, so how would God feel about these people who were lying? 
    3. Thousands of years ago, a king ordered that all the baby boys of a certain ethnicity should be killed.  The midwives conscience didn’t allow them to do this. so when the king demanded an explanation for this, the midwives lied and said that women all had their babies too quickly for the midwives to arrive.  READ: about that in Exodus: Exodus 1:15-22  

God blessed these liars!  Rahab too was blessed by God, even though she lied to the rulers of Jericho about the Hebrew spies.  Is it possible to conclude that in those cases, God permitted those lies because they were to save human life, and God values human life above all things? After all he sent His own son to the cross, because of the value he placed on human life.  Certainly we can’t make these exceptions general principles. 

  1. Lies and politicians. Now we have another ethical issues.  Can a Christian ever be a politician?  It seems that politics requires people to lie, or at least, to be economical with the truth.  Yet Christians in politics have made a great difference in past times, so a Christian in politics should uphold the same standards of truth as every other believer, even at the cost of party favour, or votes.  

One more question, how do we react when other people lie about us? Matthew 5:11  

3. Lies We Tell Ourselves.

One final aspect of lying, and that is when we are dishonest with our selves.  When we persuade ourselves that something about us is true, when it’s not.  Let’s see some possibles…

  • I’m okay as I am.  You’re not!  We are to grow as Christians, to continually examine ourselves, repent of our sins and confess, so that we are forgiven.  That’s one of the reasons that we have the Lord’s Supper -it forces us to do some self examination.  Lamentations 3:40  
  • No-one will ever know…. Oh yes they will!  God sees everything, he is ‘all-knowing,”  And one day all those things that we have convinced ourselves that no-one will ever know, will be brought out into the open and we shall answer for them. Matthew 12:36-37  
  • God made me this way!  We use it as an excuse for all sorts of misbehaviour! “I can’t help being a rude, nasty misanthropist – it’s just the way I am, the way God made me.”  It’s a lie!  God didn’t make you like that. Sin did, and sin was dealt with at the cross, so go and sin no more!

We do lie to ourselves, usually to try to cover up some area of sin in our lives.  Just stop it, and be truthful with yourself, as a Christian should, and start to live for Christ.  1 John 2:4  2 Corinthians 5:17  

So, we have looked at lies, lying and liars, and seen that while there may be difficult ethical situations that come up from time to time, lying, essentially is a sin, whether we are lying to or about others, or even ourselves, – a sin that God hates and must punish, and a sin that Christ took our punishment for at the cross.

© Bob McEvoy February 2022

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