Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Little Sins: Lying Lips

The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.
Proverbs 12:22

We have a bad tendency of thinking that some sins are small. "They don't really hurt anyone, so they don't matter as much. These are just minor character flaws," we tell ourselves. We even justify our actions by arguing, "We can't be perfect on this side of heaven anyway." The problem is that Scripture often makes a big deal out of our "small" sins. What is more, Scripture tells us to pursue the perfection of our Father in our everyday lives (Matthew 5:48). Over the next few weeks we will be looking at some of these so called "small" sins. We will see what God has to say about them, and we will see some Bible characters that incurred some pretty major consequences for these sins. Today we talk about lying. 

The truth is that God hates lies (even the little white kind). They may seem harmless to us, but the reason God hates them really ought to be obvious. They are contrary to His very nature. John 17:17 says that the words that God speaks are truth. In fact, the Holy Spirit is even called the "Spirit of truth." (John 15:26). God speaks truth. He reveals truth. He enlightens the mind so that it can understand and receive truth. Lies conceal the truth. This is not the work of the Father but of the enemy. The Devil is the "father of lies" (John 8:44). Lies are his native tongue, so when we lie we are reflecting Satan's character, not the Father's.

Even more telling is how this basic character difference works itself out in our Father's and the enemy's strategies for capturing the hearts of this world. II Corinthians 4:4 tells us that Satan has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that they would be unable to see the truth of the gospel. Revelation 12:9 says that Satan "leads the whole world astray." But God "reveals the deep things of darkness and brings utter darkness into the light" (Job 12:22). In fact, "God is light, in Him there is no darkness at all" (I John 1:5). So the image we get from these verses is that Satan is attacking our world with darkness and deception, hiding the truth of the gospel behind a thick veil of half-truths and outright lies. Our God responds to this strategy not with the sword or a legion of angels, but by beating back the darkness with the light of the truth of the gospel of glory in Jesus Christ. This is God's work. This was Jesus' work. He is "the light of the world" who sets people free from the darkness forever (John 8:12). And we know that the darkness "has not overcome" Jesus' light (John 1:5). So you can imagine His frustration when His children, whom He has set free from the darkness of deception, willingly choose to return to it for their own benefit. When we do this we are willingly reflecting the nature of the Devil and have joined with him to spread confusion and deception. We literally find ourselves opposite of God in the great cosmic battle for the hearts of mankind, and our God does not take it lightly. 

For further reading...
  • Acts 5:1-11- Read the story of a couple who decided to try to lie to God.
  • Genesis 12- Read about how Abram's weak new faith in God and his half-truth nearly caused a catastrophe.

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