The following is an excerpt from the book, Real Life Moments, by J. Mark Fox.
“Therefore, putting away lying, let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.” (Ephesians 4:25)
The old joke goes like this: “How can you tell when a lawyer is lying to you?” Answer: “His mouth is moving.” I apologize to all of you lawyers out there. Here’s another one, that’s not so funny. “How can you tell when a Christian is lying?” Before you say that Christians don’t lie, I must remind you that I was born at night, but not last night.
We can lie to one another and not think twice about it. We can lie about how we are doing. We can lie about our sins. We can lie about our marriages. We can lie about our kids. We can lie about our financial struggles. We can lie about our fears. We can lie about our insecurities. We can lie about our loneliness. Not only can we lie about anything and everything, we can lie in so many different ways. We can lie with what we say. We can lie with what we don’t say. We can lie with a look. We can lie with a hug or a handshake. We can lie with laughter. We can lie with tears. We can lie with our presence. We can lie with our absence.
Speaking of absences, I remember when I was in the 11th grade, and I got it into my head that I really didn’t need to go to school every day, so I started skipping. It was easy to lie to my parents about it, as they were gone to work by the time my ride came to take me to school. It was easy to lie to my friends who came to pick me up: I would just stick my head out the door and shake it with this sad, sick look, like I didn’t feel well. It was easy to lie to my teachers. I just wrote them a note each time and signed my Dad’s name to it. Easy! After lying to my parents, friends, and teachers, I would then go and lie on the couch all day and watch game shows. Talk about a sick puppy. I stayed home from school to watch Monty make a deal with a man dressed like Big Bird?
Well, the Bible says your sins will find you out. It just so happened that my English teacher bumped into my Dad at a meeting one night, about halfway through the year. “I am so sorry that Mark has been so sick this year,” Mr. Goodwin said, while looking at my Dad to see his response. Just as he suspected, my Dad had no idea what he was talking about. Busted! I remember well the talk we had that night. Dad told me of his conversation with my teacher, and then laid down the law: “You will stop lying to me about this. You will go to school every day and stay all day. Or … you will pack your bags and move out. As long as you’re living under my roof, you will do what I say. And finishing school is non-negotiable.” That changed my direction quickly!
I would be lying if I told you that now there is never an insincere word that comes out of my mouth. But my desire is to be real, not to run, not to hide, not to lie. We need to stop lying to each other in the church. It’s the only way we will ever grow up.
Prayer: “Lord, help me to put away lying of any kind, including exaggeration.”
Action: Talk with your children about the importance of honesty and Godly character. Read Proverbs 6:16-19 together and talk about it.