*Lying seems to be a way of life for many people. We lie at the drop of a hat. The book, The Day American Told the Truth, says that 91 percent of those surveyed lie routinely about matters they consider trivial, and 36 percent lie about important matters; 86 percent lie regularly to parents, 75 percent to friends, 73 percent to siblings, and 69 percent to spouses.
**The three most commonly told lies.
1. “Gee, you haven’t changed a bit”
2. “I never got the message”
3. “I put that check in the mail to you yesterday.”
**Bruce Keidan in Philadelphia Inquirer
We often find ourselves engaged in conversation that is spoken in code. The words we use are not reflective of the intent of our thinking – but in polite company we avoid ‘brutal honesty’.
From the simple, “Howzit going?” to the response, “I’m going well, thanks”, both the question and answer are disingenuous. We probably aren’t concerned with the other’s welfare, nor is the answer likely a true reflection of how one is feeling. We might have been having a terrible day but the response camouflages what’s really going on.
And when our wives ask us, “Does this dress make me look fat?” You know you’re in for a world of hurt if you don’t give the right – but not necessarily correct answer.
I suppose that we excuse this kind of code-speech. Some is merely polite custom and some is intended to protect the sensitivities of others. But at other times, disingenuous speech can reflect cowardice.
Please let me explain. For example, when you are told an off-colour joke, do you nervously giggle and respond with, “That’s a good one.”? Well, perhaps you don’t comment at all, but silence can sometimes be as bad as a lie.
Or do you think to yourself, now here’s an opportunity to express my displeasure with, “You know, I realise that was just a joke and you didn’t mean to offend me, but I don’t find those kind of jokes to be funny. I’m a Christian, and would appreciate it if you would refrain from this kind of humour with me. ” This take a lot of courage but this kind of response just might open doors then, or at a latter time, to give a witness to Jesus in your life.
It’s only a matter of degrees from the first kind of so called “white lie”, to full-fledged dishonesty.
What does the Bible say about lying?
A lying tongue is not only something God hates, it is also something that is an abomination to Him.
There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that make haste to run to evil,
a false witness who breathes out lies,
and one who sows discord among brothers.
“None of us likes being lied to. None of us likes being falsely accused of lying. The reason is because truth is primarily a self-regarding virtue. In other words, it is in our own best self-interest to see things as either being true or untrue. If we wish to walk carefully through life, to do so we must be able to calculate our true position. When you lie to me, you know your position but you have given me false data which obscures mine. When I lie to you, I create a situation in which you have a false view of reality and you may lose your way.” (Jonathan Wallace, Lying, The Ethical Spectacle, May 2000)
Jesus always kept His Word. God still keeps His Word and is faithful to keep every promise He makes in the Bible. That is why He is reliable and we can trust Him. We are called to be like Him.
10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.
12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. 22 Slaves, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. 25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.
4:1 Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.
2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. 3 At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— 4 that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.
5 Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. 6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
7 Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. 8 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, 9 and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.
10 Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him), 11 and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. 13 For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. 14 Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. 16 And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. 17 And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.”
18 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.
5 A faithful witness does not lie,
but a false witness breathes out lies.
16 There are six things that the Lord hates,
seven that are an abomination to him:
17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that make haste to run to evil,
19 a false witness who breathes out lies,
and one who sows discord among brothers.