The most pain I have suffered (in terms of damage inflicted by a person) was caused by the lying of someone I trusted. We opened up our home to be used as a rental managed by a friend. His vision was to help get men who were homeless off the streets. But instead of following the guidelines we established he began lying about what was happening with the residents as well as telling people that we had given him the home. Ultimately we had to go to court just to get possession of the house. His betrayal, lies, and the financial and emotional cost to my wife and me generated much suffering. I realize that compared to what many others throughout the world have suffered this was not so bad. Even so, it gave me a lasting memory of the harmful impact of lies.
Micah 6:11-13—Can I excuse wicked scales or bags of deceptive weights? For the wealthy of the city are full of violence, and its residents speak lies; the tongues in their mouths are deceitful. As a result, I have begun to strike you severely, bringing desolation because of your sins.
Proverbs 6:17 mentions lying as one of six things that God hates. Lying is alluded to over 422 times in Scripture. Of the 66 books that make up the Bible, 51 contain examples of lying or warnings not to engage in deceit or giving false statements. Interestingly, Jeremiah is the book with the most references to lying (47x). God often angrily spoke through the prophets to Israel and Judah because the Jews were engaged in deceitful behavior. We see this in the meditation above where God specifically mentions scales and weights that were fabricated so that merchants could overcharge their customers. Micah warned that the lies and deceit that plagued the people provoked God’s judgment. If only they had listened to King David’s words in Psalm 5:6—“You destroy those who tell lies; the LORD abhors a man of bloodshed and treachery.”
Even an innocent lie is fraught with peril. Once we utter false words, thereafter we plant in people’s mind the thought that we might not be trustworthy. A broken trust is not easily regained. Lying tears apart the fabric of confidence and indelibly stains it with doubt. Lying is selfish and is almost always used to cover something someone wants hidden. To engage in deceit reveals that we do not trust God and would rather resort to our own deviousness. It portends pride and disdains the value of those deceived. It is the invention of Satan who told Eve, “You will not die” (Genesis 3:4a). We see the poisoned effect of his lie to Eve in the DNA of every human—we all suffer falsehood and we all die. The trouble with lying is it makes God angry—and rightfully so. His creation was marred by a liar and it cost Him His Son to fix it.
Don’t ever lie. Lying is not worth the cost.—Deepak Malhotra and Max H. Bazerman inNegotiation Genius
©2014 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)