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Saturday, July 12, 2014


Illustration by: Salvatore Vuono

When the Apostle Paul lived, he quoted a writer who said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies (Titus 1:12b). Can you imagine a whole region being known for lying, evil, and laziness?

Why do people lie?

Many years ago, I had an experience that was afterwards funny, though I was upset when it happened. I had gone to meet a woman and drive her to a ladies’ meeting. I went to the specified place, waited fifteen minutes there, and then I decided to drive to her house, to see if she were well. (This was before cell phones.) I found her in her living room, seated on the couch, watching television. She swore to me that she had been in the appointed place, on time, and had waited for me.


Okay . . . .

You can prove people are lying and they tell you cover-up lies. It’s amazing!

Some people, instead of telling blatant lies, tell white lies. Those are the “good lies” about birthday parties, Santa Claus, and surprises. When the end justifies the means . . . .

Then, there are the storytellers. They can embellish a real happening far past recognition. (It ends up being way more interesting!) Some people make things up just to have something to say. It’s all fantasy, but hey, they told a story, too.

There are face-saving lies. Like the woman I found watching television, these lies don’t make them look like they really did what they really did.

And, there are manipulators. They’re the ones who try to get you to do what they want you to do, so they appeal to your weaknesses, ply you with “poor-me” lies, with the hope that you will take pity and do exactly what they want you to do.

Christians lie.


Oh yes, people who name the Name of Jesus and claim to be Christians lie.

Some call lies “fibs.” It sounds a little softer, like other synonyms: misleading, tricky, misstating, and misrepresenting.

What does God think of lying?

Look at the Ten Commandments. Number Nine is: Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor (Exodus 20:16). It almost sounds like it’s talking about being in court and not committing perjury, but this verse can be accurately translated “Thou shalt not lie to another.”*

I think it’s interesting to know where lying comes from. The Bible says, Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it (John 8:44). Lying originates with the devil.

Contrast lying with Truth. God is true (John 3:33). Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth (John 17:17).

When we speak truth, we represent God.

How can we help to change lying ways—in ourselves or in our children? 
  1. Call all falsehoods “lies.” When we stop fooling ourselves into thinking that a lie is a “small sin,” we begin to see lying as God sees it. It is an act contrary to God’s nature. It breaks the ninth commandment. It is wrong!
  2. Deal with lying. When your child lies, talk to him about how lying doesn’t please God. When a friend lies to you, talk to him about it. Don’t ignore lies.
  3. Focus on truth. When our minds are on the Lord, on good and pure things, on those things that are honest and true, we will be a lot less inclined to tell falsehoods. (See Philippians 4:8 for what we’re to think about.)
  4. Make up your mind that you will tell the truth. The next time someone plans a surprise party, figure out how to do it without lying. The next time you’re caught in a fault, admit it. The next time you’re tempted to embellish the story, don’t. (It will be less interesting, but you will have done right.) The next time you try to manipulate another’s actions, refuse to do so. Pray and leave the other’s actions to God. Never cheat. Make up your mind that you will not lie. Discipline and catch yourself before the words come out of your mouth. If you have been a habitual liar, this isn’t going to be easy. Ask the Lord to help you stop lies before you say them.
  5. If you tell a lie, admit it. It’s hard; but if every time you lie, you go back and admit it to the person you’ve lied to, you will quickly condition yourself to avoid the embarrassment. And, you do owe an apology to anyone to whom you’ve lied! Your children should also be held to account. If you catch them lying, make them apologize.

Wherefore putting away lying,
speak every man truth with his neighbour:
for we are members one of another.
(Ephesians 4:25)

*Greek help from Online Bible.


  1. This was really good, thanks! I thought of the verse that says "all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." I like the five practical points that you shared and hope we can use them to teach our boys to be champions of the truth...they've got to learn to speak first ;)

    On the subject of partial lies, or manipulating, or misleading, or ommission, I always think of this reference:
    1 Samuel 16:1-2
    1 And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.
    2 And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me. And the LORD said, Take an heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the LORD.

    Since you have obviously put some thought into the subject, I would love to hear your thoughts on these verses. God bless you! Keep writing.

    Kyle (Chile)

    1. Thank you, Kyle, for your thoughtful remarks. About those verses in 1 Samuel 16:1-2, I believe this isn't talking about a lie at all. The heifer WAS for sacrifice, and it was also his means of gaining entrance. Another interesting passage is where the Israelite midwives say that the Israelite mothers had given birth before they got there. I believe that was true. God could well have hastened the births so that the midwives weren't even confronted with the dilemma of infanticide. God bless you as you study God's Word.


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