2015-09-06 - The Ninth Commandment
What are the Dangers of Lying?
You would think the question of what are the dangers here would be self-evident. But how often do we, even as believers, find ourselves justifying so-called “little white lies?” We can all come up with examples where we feel the truth wouldn’t be helpful. How often do we get around blatant lying, by simply avoiding the truth? We tell the truth, but we do this in such a way as to lead to a conclusion that is completely false. (This sounds a lot like advertising, doesn't it?) As I’ve mentioned before, in the past, I’ve caught myself doing something like this. Someone called my office - someone whom I didn’t want to talk to - and so that my assistant wouldn’t “have” to lie, I stepped out into the hall. Then she could say I was out of the office. The words were true, but the intent was a lie.
Are there any similar examples you can think of? One of the most obvious dangers of any lying, is that it is addictive. If we lie in the small things, it becomes to easier to lie in important things. Often problems arise in relationships, because of lack of communication. Sometimes we chose not to communicate at all. This is a way to avoid telling the truth, another way of lying. If children are not encouraged to tell the truth, they may not be able to distinguish between truth and falsehood.
Whom do you think we can be guilty of lying to, the most often? I think we lie to ourselves more often then anyone else. The most phenomenal thing about this, is that we can reach the point of believing our own lies.
What do you think are some of the other dangers of lying? Stop and think about this before giving a “snap” answer. Are there situations where telling the truth would be a greater wrong than lying? Often we are told when someone is gravely ill, maybe even dying, that it maybe better to not tell them, the truth being the wrong thing for them. But the major fallacy with this is the last days may be the only time when they may have an opportunity to set things right with the Lord. Again, the main point is worth repeating. If we serve the God of Truth, then how can we justify lying? Christ dealt with people in all sorts of difficult circumstances, but we will not find any time where He lied to them “for their own good.”
There once was a day when a handshake was all that was needed in business relationships. A man’s word was his bond. Today, there seems to be no concern as to whether the truth is told or not. It seems a major part of our culture is founded on lying, and there is no question society suffers for it. (The IRS isn’t targeting conservatives.)
It doesn’t matter whether we are talking about advertising, politics or the press; much of what we hear is not truth, only someone’s idea of what they want truth to be. Aren’t major industries founded on the fact many people don’t want to accept their age? Don’t you feel that this problem carries right on into the church, especially in the area of gossip, flattery, and white lies for someone's own good?
We must carefully watch our own words. We need to depend on the Lord to give us the Spirit of Truth, because it seems so natural to lie under pressure. When we are pulled over for speeding, it is amazing how many of us are on the way to an emergency.
To be continued.
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