There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers.
When David Letterman hosted his late-night talk show, he was famous for his “Top 10” lists. Did you know that in the Bible God gives us His “Top 7” list? Proverbs 6:16-19 gives us a list of the seven things that God hates the most. Notice that in this list, two of the things God hates most relate to lying: “a lying tongue” and “a false witness who utters lies.” The Bible is clear: God hates lying.
Why does God hate lying? I believe that God hates lying because of its disastrous results. If you look back on a broken relationship, more likely than not, at the root of the breakup was some form of deceit. Lying causes strife among people.
Why do people engage in lying? First, we lie to contradict the truth. Sometimes we contradict the truth to impress people. Or we spread false information for revenge. Sometimes we lie to escape the consequences of our actions or to keep from hurting people’s feelings.
Second, we lie when we twist the truth. We may not directly contradict the truth, but we bend it out of shape. Distortions of the truth can be more dangerous than outright lies because there is just enough truth to make them plausible.
Third, we lie when we neglect the truth. When we allow falsehoods to go unchallenged, we are accomplices in spreading lies. Students, when your teacher is sharing something unbiblical, you should not be disrespectful or argumentative, but you have a responsibility to speak the truth to let other students know there is another point of view. Neglecting the truth is to be guilty of spreading falsehood.
Finally, we lie when we inflate the truth. We exaggerate our experiences or embellish our stories. But exaggeration hurts our credibility. If we distort the truth in one area, then how do people know when we are talking about God that we are not doing the same thing?
Be a person who does not have to say, “I swear what I am telling you is true!” Be like Solomon, who said, “Keep deception and lies far from me” (Proverbs 30:8). Tell the truth without contradicting it, distorting it, neglecting it, or inflating it. Why? Because doing any of those things ruins our relationships and entangles us in webs of deceit. Most importantly, when we lie, we violate the character of our Heavenly Father. Be a person of truth.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “To Tell The Truth” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.