Thursday, May 23, 2013

Proverbs 19:9 "I cannot tell a lie!"

We all remember the story about George Washington and the cherry tree. Unfortunately, it’s just a myth. However, the truth is that Washington was definitely known for his integrity. Did he ever lie? I’m sure he did! But he was held in such high esteem for his character that he remains the only President elected unanimously twice!

I’m always amazed by parents who claim, “My child NEVER lies!” Really? Of course children lie at some point - especially when they think the truth will get them into trouble! Maybe they just fail to tell the whole truth, leaving out bits of truth to cover up their culpability. Kind of like they see Mom do when she tells Dad that the new $199.99 purse only cost “about $100!” :) Hmmm... me thinks lying is a universal problem!

Now - there are some lies that are whoppers that do REAL long-term damage: cheating on a spouse; embezzling funds from a company; committing perjury in a trial; fraudulently representing an investment opportunity; giving false testimony to a Congressional committee. We can all pretty much check off that list with some self-satisfaction that we’ve never done any of THOSE things, right?

But there are also those little “white lies,” that strip away at our integrity. Sometimes we come up with our own little falsehoods that usually come to light to our great embarrassment. We make up reasons why we can’t attend an event or why we need to skip out on a meeting. We take a “sick” day to take the kids to Disneyland. We pretend we’re not home when “call waiting” shows the name of someone we’re avoiding. If these behaviors become a pattern, they eventually become part of our reputation. There is a cost.

Our verse in Proverbs promises this:

A false witness will not go unpunished,
    and he who breathes out lies will perish. (Proverbs 19:9 ESV)

Now I believe this verse is specifically referring to someone who is a BIG FAT LIAR! This phrase “breathes out lies” suggests a person for whom lying is the perpetual behavior - someone whose nose grows every time he opens his mouth! This behavior has become as easy as breathing to this person. This verse tells us that such people will be found out and will face justice at some point. Frankly, I find that comforting. Nevertheless, we need to be aware of how our own “tiny” lies will affect others and our own character. They hurt our witness for Christ. They model sin for our children and grandchildren.

Dear LORD, give us such a passion for the truth that we abhor lies of any kind. Keep our lying lips shut! And, thank you, LORD, that you faithfully expose lies, and that, in the end, their is justice.  

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