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No Liars There

So put away all falsehood and "tell your neighbor the truth" because we belong to each other. (Ephesians 4:25)

But cowards who turn away from me, and unbelievers, and the corrupt, and murderers, and the immoral, and those who practice witchcraft, and idol worshipers, and all liars their doom is in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. This is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)

In that infamous passage through middle school, my daughter had a rather annoying song that she would sing when someone exaggerated a little bit or tried to get away with a "fib." She would sing: "Revelation, Revelation, 21:8, 21:8. Liars go to..."

Well, you get the picture!

We broke her of the habit about the same time she purged our family of white lies, stretching the truth, exaggeration, fibbing, and all related deceptive speech. We learned from her what a recent study has quantified: people lie to each other frequently men lie to make themselves look better, women lie to please others, and the best liars are often the most popular people.*

We live in a world of deception and untruth. The recent "earnings" scandals of major corporations and their accountants have nests of liars at their core. A recent U.S. president made lying and hedging the truth an art form in an arena known for its hedgers and liars. Weve gotten where we dont even wonder whether our politicians are telling us the truth. We assume theyre not.

A recent magazine ad given to me by a friend, however, is what really caught my eye and burned my grits! On side-by-side magazine pages was a picture of the same room. The talked about the difference in color given off by a certain new light bulb. It was supposedly comparing it to other bulbs which gave off dingier light. The "other light bulb" picture was yellow and dingy. The new special light bulb picture was beautiful, colorful, and crisp. The difference was remarkable.

The bulb very clearly did what it claimed to do!

Or did it?

In the fine print at the bottom of the page in very small light gray lettering was this disclaimer: "Photos enhanced to dramatize differences in color." In other words they were saying, "These pictures are really a lie!" They were hoping that their deceit wouldnt be noticed, or at least it wouldnt matter to us.

Now Im sure the product does exactly what it claims. My beef is with the deceptive way it was presented in the advertising. We are simply supposed to swallow this kind of thing as acceptable. Does anyone really tell the truth? And what about the veracity and trustworthiness of those of us claiming to be the people of God? What do we do about the truth? Truth. the of abuse our curb and Spirit Holy sting feel we truthful, being not are when that so conscience re-sensitize to need each hand, other On distorts or stretches who everyone 21:8 Revelation sing Schooler Middle a become go all suggesting Im Well,

Truthfulness doesnt mean that we become discourteous or unpleasant. It does mean that we come to value the truth as much as God does. Our Heavenly Father made his desires clear by telling us that telling lies is in his top seven list of things he hates! (Proverbs 6:16) Jesus reminds us that lying is the language of the devil, who is the Father of lies and who uses his lies for his murderous purposes. (John 8) In fact, much of Satans power to tempt us to sin can be found in his power to lie and distort the truth. (2 Corinthians 11:14; Ephesians 6:11) The apostle Paul emphasizes that lying is a part of our old nature that we put to death when we became Christians and are called to speak the truth in love to each other. (Ephesians 4 & 5)

As folks who want to share the truth about God with the world and share the truth about the grace of Jesus to those trapped in darkness, we must demonstrate that truth is important to us by words and our actions. How can we be trusted about spiritual matters if others know that our veracity cannot be trusted in other areas? How can our expressions of love be received as genuine when our words are often disingenuous? You see, God wants us to tell the truth and stay away from the lies!

Oh, by the way, my daughters reminder is still relevant if the other reasons to lie to dont get to you. Revelation 21:8 reminds us of the final stop of the liars tour of eternity. Im pretty sure no of us wants to go there! Lets be a people of the truth, not because we fear hell, but because we want no part of its practices!

by Phil Ware

 

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