“Everyone lies to their neighbor; they flatter with their lips but harbor deception in their hearts. May the Lord silence all flattering lips and every boastful tongue.” Psalm 12:2-3 TNIV
Where has all the integrity gone? Lying has become a way of life for the majority of people, even Christians. The following are lies I’ve heard from self-proclaimed Christ-followers:
“I told this guy I was married so he’d leave me alone”.
“If you get pulled over by a cop, never, under any circumstances admit fault (even if you know you were wrong)!”
“Just say you’re busy so you won’t have to go to [an event].”
The Bible is clear about lying. It is sin. The excuses one conjures up to justify lies are evidence of a guilty conscience.
“It’s not hurting anyone.”
Wrong. Sin always, always bears consequences. Jesus said, “The good man brings up good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that all men will have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:35-37 (emphasis mine). Though a person may never know they’ve been lied to the most important One knows: God.
How can we expect to witness to our unbelieving friends and neighbors when our character stands in question?
As a Jesus-follower, I never want to find myself caught in a lie. The best way to not get caught in a lie is to not lie. I never want to be responsible for turning someone away from a saving faith in the Gospel because I had no integrity. A Christian who lies gives the unbelieving world another excuse to hold on to their godless existence. Let’s be salt and light, friends; after all, how can we call ourselves Jesus-followers when we make a habit of deceiving people?
As Christians we are called to a higher standard, even if taking that high road is more difficult or painful.
I recently read an “inspirational” article saying women want to be lied to by their spouses and it creates a better marriage by boosting the woman’s self-esteem. Apparently, when she asks if she looks fat she wants to hear “no” whether it’s true or not. It’s likely our spouses are afraid to tell the truth because of reactions they receive. No wonder relationships have so much angst and heartache. Lying is so commonplace that hearing the truth hurts our feelings so we decide we want to be lied to and we think others want to be lied to.
If we want to bear witness to the life-transforming power of Jesus, we need to be people of integrity who refuse to tolerate even an inkling of intentional sin. May our prayer resonate with the Psalmist, “Because I consider all your precepts right, I hate every wrong path.” Psalm 119:128 (emphasis mine)