Tonight in Orange County, I am wrapping up a miniseries on the Ten Commandments as part of my new series Worldview: How to Think and Live Biblically. Among other things, I will speak on the topic of lying.
There is no better place to start in establishing what is absolute truth than with the Ten Commandments that were written by God, with His own finger.
In God’s Top 10, the Ten Commandments, Commandment No. 9 is “Thou shalt not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16).
Strictly speaking, this commandment originally referred to perjuring oneself in a judicial trial. Yet it certainly applies to lying in general.
To know what a lie is, I must first understand what truth is!
George Barna conducted a poll and asked adults if they agreed with the following statement: “There are no absolute standards for morals and ethics.” Incredibly, seven out of 10 said they agreed with it!
God hates lying
The Bible has a lot to say about this topic. In the Book of Proverbs, God speaks of the seven things He hates:
There are six things the LORD hates–no, seven things he detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord among brothers. (Proverbs 6:16-19)
The word “hates” means “To hate personally, a personal enemy.” I sure don’t want to be doing something that God specifically says he hates. Do you?
It is worth noting that two of the seven things that God hates are related to dishonesty.
Lying is destructive
Why does God react so strongly to lying? Because it’s so destructive.
Elsewhere in Proverbs, we read that “Telling lies about someone is as harmful as hitting him with an axe, or wounding him with a sword, or shooting him with a sharp arrow” (Proverbs 25:18).
From this, we can safely conclude that God really hates lying of any form.
He hates it because He is the Source of truth. He used that very word to describe His character. Jesus said, “I am the Truth” (John 14:6). Scripture tells us, “It impossible for God to lie” (Hebrews 6:18).
In dramatic contrast, Satan is the “father of lies” (John 8:44). When we lie, we are behaving more like children of the devil than children of God.
Have you been telling lies about others lately? God says of the liar, “I will not allow deceivers to serve me, and liars will not be allowed to enter my presence” (Psalm 101:7).
This means if you are telling lies, you are in sin against God!
Scripture tells us, “Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old evil nature and all its wicked deeds” (Colossians 3:9).
We know it’s wrong, so why do we lie? Why do we lie to each other?
I will deal with that in my blog tomorrow.