“Liar, Liar, Pants on fire” was a chant I learned when I was growing up. When my daughter was growing up, we rented a movie called “Liar, Liar”. One of the funniest movies I have seen. What is it about lying that just seems to be a rite of passage growing up? We all lie, right? Yes. “How are you today?” “Fine (we say it not because it is true, but because we really do not want to tell someone how we really are).” Welcome to the Liar’s Club.
I was a master liar. Not proud of it, but I could lie straight to your face without even thinking twice about it. If I got caught in a lie, I rarely ever apologized. Most of the time I just lied again, until College and Summer Missions happened, and I saw what a lie could do to someone else. It was not my lie, but rather someone else’s lie.
I was in St. Louis serving in a large Baptist church. I was paired with another college student; we became friends pretty quick. I went on some side trips without her, like being a deaf camp counselor and a youth camp counselor. I believe she had some other things going on as well. We served at a sister church in the inner city. Tina had a beautiful voice and sang one night during our church service. She had such a sweetness about her. She was an amazing woman of faith.
I returned from one of my camps to find Tina gone. Things removed and no note. She had been moved. I was brought into the office of one of the pastors like being called to the principal’s office. Sit down and close the door kind of meeting. He told me that it had come to his attention that she taught about speaking in tongues and that was against their teachings in the church. Then came my punishment. I never knew what my crime was, but I was no longer to be of the youth or clowning ministry. I was no longer allowed to socialize with any member of the church. I would be picked up from the house I was staying in and brought to the church to work in the daycare center.
I do not know what lie was told or by whom; however, I was punished just like Tina for something we did not do. What she & I started doing early in our time together was pray every night. Eventually we stopped, then the lie was told. I never heard her teach about speaking in tongues. We discussed it once. Just the two of us, no one else around. I told her I had never experienced it, she had. It is in the Bible, so it can’t be un-biblical. I never got to say good-bye, hug her or even talk to her again. I lost so much because of someone else’s lie. I decided I could no longer lie to anyone.
Short lived commitment. Yes, I lie. I lie to keep from hurting other’s feelings. That is the only lie I tell. But God sees a lie as a lie. Sin is sin no matter how great. If we are trying to live a biblical life, lying cannot be a part of it. (Please don’t make me lie to you and ask me my opinion, I still cannot hurt your feelings.) Leviticus 19:11 “Do not steal. Do not lie. Do not deceive one another.” These are our instructions, plain and simple. Three simple “do nots” that are a must in our lives. But how does God feel about lying?
Proverbs 12:22 “The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.” Trustworthy? Lying keeps us from being trustworthy. I know people who lie. I do not know how or who to trust when something happens with these people. Lies destroy trust. Lies destroy lives. Stealing is just another lie (but that is a different blog for a different time). You cost someone else something when you lie (or steal). Whether it is money, trust, freedom; there is a cost attached to lying.
So how do we confront lying? That is the biggest question I have right now. I am going to start with a whole lot of prayer. Confronting someone who lies usually does not go well. They have to be receptive to changing themselves. If they are not willing to change, then confrontation is hostile. Pray is key, but not in the way you immediately think. We need to enter the confrontation with prayer so that we do not lose our cool. We do not need to become angry because that defeats the purpose of confronting others about lying. So, start with prayer. Share your concerns about the behavior and offer a solution. Scripture helps, but do not look for them to be very receptive to that either. Some people see the issue with lying and change. It is a long process for them and for you. I hope this helps you, I know it has already helped me. Prayers to you…