Truth has taken quite a hit lately. The press has created two new terms to describe our untruthful habits: fake news and alternate facts. Everyday we encounter dishonest politicians, salespeople, strangers, friends, and sadly, even church people. I’m sad to say that, yes, even preachers fall victim to the temptation to lie.
What Exactly IS Lying?
Lying takes several forms. Most obvious is the blatant disregard for facts and the deliberate deception of others to serve one’s own purpose. Some have honed the skill of sounding sincere while sharing what they know to be false. Lying, however, can wear many disguises.
We lie when we share only partial truth, withholding some part of the information we deem damaging to our cause. Some call that “spin.” Sounds nicer, doesn’t it?
We lie when we hide certain parts of the truth we think are damaging to us. Some call that “information management.”
We lie when we purposefully speak in vague terms so that later we can claim we said something else altogether. Some call that “hedging our words.”
We lie when sharing the truth would be the right thing to do, but instead we remain silent. Yes, even silence can be a lie when speaking the truth is more appropriate.
We lie when engage in gossip and speculations about the activities and/or motives of others. The more we talk about someone, the more we (and others) begin to believe what we say about them.
Lying begins with an inconsistent life. We lie when our words contradict our actions. If we are walking in humble obedience to God, the truth does not harm us, it serves us well. We lie to cover what we do not want others to know.
Why The Truth Matters
For the believer in Jesus, our believability is eternally important. We proclaim the most important truth in all the world in all eternity – Jesus saves. In fact, we know truth is more than words, facts, or teachings. Truth is a person and His name is Jesus. You might say we have the privilege to tell the truth about the Truth.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. – John 14:6
If our culture cannot believe what we say about smaller things, why should they believe our message about Jesus? Too much is at stake eternally in our lives and the lives of those around us. We cannot play fast and loose with the truth, but we must always speak it in love.
Politicians, salespeople, neighbors, preachers, and liars of every sort offer rationalizations for their lying. In the end, however, less than 100 percent truth is still a lie. Live the kind of life not threatened by the truth. Determine to always speak the truth in love. The truth will be pleased if we do.
Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. – Ephesians 4:25
This post originally appeared at JimDuggan.org.