An article on today’s MSN homepage is
titled, “Moral Dilemma: Liar, Liar,” by Amy Reiter. This
writer speaks about how prevalent dishonesty and lies are
found in today’s world. After
giving a number of different examples of lying in various
contexts, Reiter offers these statistics:
of readers say the odd fib at work is inevitable.
say they lie one to three times on any given day.
have stretched the truth when calling in sick.
Occasionally, a lie that someone tells
is discovered with much shame. The
author tells of a woman named Cat who pretended to be 35
years of age on the job. Later,
the office people discovered that she was actually 50 and
this resulted in a lot of embarrassment. One
website says, “Human-resources managers assume that everyone embellishes,
exaggerates, puffs up, and basically lies to some extent
on their resume.” Is
it true that everyone lies on resumes and in other contexts? What
about you and me?
Most of us remember the lies of history. Hitler
lied about his plans for European domination. President
Nixon lied about Watergate. Clinton
lied about his immoral Whitehouse liaison. Lies
are all around us—whether on the job, in politics, in education,
in entertainment, and even in religious circles. Probably
preachers and pastors can be the most damaging of liars. Paul
the apostle writes of “the hypocrisy of liars seared in their
own conscience as with a branding iron” (1 Tim. 4:2). Religious
liars are found on television and on the radio. They
write books and hold places of prominence.
It may or may not be true that 47% of
people lie one to three times a day, but God still says that
dishonesty is wrong. Since
God is true (1 Thess. 1:9; John 5:20; Rom. 3:4; John 3:33),
we know that He speaks truth. In
fact, God’s words are “truth” (John 17:17). We
also know that Jesus is “the truth” (John 14:6), and the
Holy Spirit is called “the Spirit of truth” (John 15:26). In
contrast, Jesus said that Satan “does not stand in the truth
because there is no truth in him. Whenever
he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is
a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).
Because God is true and Satan is the originator
of lies, we can better understand why we are to be truthful
people. We are
to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). Paul
admonishes, “Laying aside falsehood,
speak truth each one of you with his neighbor” (v. 25). He
goes on to say, “Do not lie to
one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil
practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed
to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who
created him” (Col. 3:9-10). We
are new creatures in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:17)—and because
we are to be like the truthful Savior and our truthful God,
we are to be truthful. We
are to renounce all lying for this is not to be part of the
new nature we have been given by the Spirit of truth.
Although dishonesty may be found in most
people and the world seems to be filled with lying, let us,
as followers of Christ, be truthful men and women. Let
people know that we will say the truth and live the truth
in a dishonest world!