Anyone who says that they never lie is probably lying. This skill often presents itself first in childhood and, oddly, without much training beforehand in doing it. The only positive about this is that little kids are notoriously bad at it and are quickly found out in their lies. Yet, for a thing we associate with children, adults are not immune to the temptation to lie. Sometimes we lie to get out of consequences for something we did. Sometimes we lie to knowingly mislead someone. Mainly, we do it because we are trying to advance ourselves at the expense of the truth itself. We create a reality other than the one actually exists for our own sake. But speaking lies never actually works. It seems that it is only a matter of time until the truth comes out.
When we tell lies, we uplift ourselves above the idea of reality. We miss out on an opportunity to represent Christ to the World. Even more, we miss out on the freedom that comes from truth.
Representing God With Our Words
Jesus embodies the very idea of truth. Nothing can compete with the actual truth, because actual truth is the purest representation of reality. Therefore, truth cannot exists apart from the truth that is given by God. Speaking the truth serves to represent God by having the respect and honor for others to be honest. There is the love of God in our desire to speak the truth to someone.
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
– John 14:5-7, (NIV)
Leading peole astray with falsehood ignores the fact that Jesus openly described himself as the truth. Spreading lies speaks words that do not carry the presence of God in our words. When faced with the opportunity to lie, we are also faced with the opportunity to represent the truth of God to the people. To represent the God of truth in our world, our words must embody the truth. If Jesus is the truth, then as we stand in the truth, however confronting it may be, we are representing Christ.
The Freedom of Truth Over Lies
At the core of speaking the truth is God’s desire for us to be free. The Gospel does not exist as a set of rules for a person to arbitrarily follow. God does not create rules for the sake of rules but out of His love for us. The same applies to speaking the truth.
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
– John 8:31-32 (NIV)
The idea behind the commands to speak the truth does not restrict us but sets us free by the grace of God. There is freedom in Christ and freedom from lies and the enemy they come from. There is freedom is not having to live a life counter to reality. There is freedom from having to feel as if we have something to hide or be ashamed of. For a God who knows us fully and completely, we have nothing to hide and no reason to lead other astray.
Truth is freeing. Lies are oppressive. Just as Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins, by the grace of God we are freed from the lies of the enemy and from needing to deceive others. When given the chance to advance ourselves over even the idea of reality, we have the opportunity to be the shining light of the grace of God to those around us.
Questions for Thought
Where do I have the opportunities to stand in the truth of God this week? Where is my biggest temptation to lie and how can I overcome it? Leave a comment below or email email@example.com.