It is a sad commentary on our society that many people just assume that lying is part of everyday life. It has become so common that many no longer see the damage that every lie causes. There are some who have convinced themselves that lying under certain circumstances is not only allowable, but favorable. In other words, if a person can obtain a desired result by lying, then some see no harm in it. There are even those that feel that as long as the lie does not “hurt” someone, then there is no problem. The trouble is that lying always “hurts” someone!
Trust is a very valuable commodity in this world. We want our spouses to trust us. We want our bosses to trust us. We want our friends to trust us. Lying strips the individual of trust. Even if the person commits just one lie, then once that lie is known, he has lost an amount of trust. From that point onward it may become difficult for others to believe future statements from the liar. Just stop and think for a moment, is there someone that has lied to you in the past that you still are not sure whether you can trust? If so, then you understand the damage that lying can do. It is no wonder that by inspiration, the apostle Paul commanded, “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Col. 3:9-10).
In the book of Proverbs there is a section where there are seven particular things that are abomination in the sight of God. It might surprise some to learn that two of those things are connected to lying. “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren” (Prov. 6:16-19). Can we truly believe that something God hates is okay for us to do? Friend, we need to open our eyes to the seriousness of telling lies.
To further demonstrate the disdain God has for lying, let us notice a particular case where a husband and wife conspired and lied. In the early days of the church, brothers and sisters were serious about meeting one another’s needs. So much so that “Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need” (Acts 4:34-35). This was a noble and good thing that was done. However, the Bible also records, “But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet” (Acts 5:1-2). This would prove extremely costly to the couple. We should never believe that we can lie and God not know it (1 John 3:20)! “But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God” (Acts 5:3-4). The seriousness of lying is seen in what happened next. “And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him” (Acts 5:5-6). This was not all though. “And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband” (Acts 5:7-10). How serious does God take lying? Ananias and Sapphira received “the death penalty” for such. Therefore, it should not surprise us to find that lying will ultimately cause us to be lost spiritually.
“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Rev. 21:8).
Let us make the decision to be those who are of the truth. That is characteristic of those who follow the Lord. Also, let us do what we can to help others know the severity and consequences of lying.
~ Corey Barnette