The Truth About Lying by Patty LaRoche

The story is told of a little girl who developed the bad habit of lying. On her birthday, she received a Saint Bernard puppy but told all of her friends she’d been given a lion. When her mother heard this story, she was not happy. “I told you not to lie. Honesty is very important. Now go upstairs and tell God you’re sorry. Promise Him you’ll never lie again.”

The little girl slowly climbed the stairs to her room, said her prayers, and then came back down to play. Her mother was waiting. “Well, did you tell God you’re sorry?” she asked. “Yes, I did,” her daughter quickly responded. “And God said that sometimes He thinks it’s hard to tell a Saint Bernard from a lion, too.”

If there is any sin more prevalent than the lie, I’m not sure what it is.  The book The Day America Told the Truth reports 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.

As surprising as those numbers are, who of us hasn’t been guilty?  We download illegal songs.  Cheat on our tax returns.  Embellish our accomplishments.  Permanently “borrow” the stapler from the office. Tell our friends we will “pray for them” but don’t. And then… we justify. Not the way to make God happy. After all, He watched the downfall of man begin with lies.

Think about it.  Satan introduces himself to mankind by lying about God to Eve– “You shall not die.”  In other words, “God fibbed when He warned you of the consequence of eating from the tree of life.”  Eve and Adam learn quickly that God means business, as they are banished from the Garden of Eden one itty bitty bite later.

In the book of Job, Satan lies to God.  “The only reason Job obeys you is because you’re so good to him.”  At Jesus’ crucifixion, the same liar convinces the masses to support the Romans and religious zealots who have sabotaged Jesus’ ministry. In the book of Revelation, Satan embodies the antichrist who tells a lie so believable it brings about the end of the world.

As one author put it, in Genesis he uses a lie to corrupt a godly man.  In Job, he uses a lie to criticize a good man.  In the New Testament, he uses a lie to crucify the God Man. It’s no wonder John 4:4 warns us:  When men are deliberate liars, they prove their kinship to the devil, for Jesus said: “The devil … he is a liar, and the father of it.”

I know someone who lies to make himself feel important and then gets angry when confronted.  Repentance is not part of his vocabulary.  In fact, typically more lies follow in the cover-up.  I wish he could have the same outcome as the store manager who heard his rookie clerk tell a customer, “No, ma’am, we haven’t had any for a while, and it doesn’t look as if we’ll be getting any soon.” Horrified, the manager came running over to the customer and said, “Of course we’ll have some soon. We placed an order last week.” Then the manager drew the clerk aside. “Never,” he snarled, “Never, never, never say we’re out of anything- say we’ve got it on order and it’s coming. Now, what was it she wanted anyway?”

The clerk answered, “Rain!”

For many, deceit holds the key to money, fame, revenge or power. I’d rather hold the key to truth and integrity.

One will keep me in bondage.  The other will set me free.





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