Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Liar! Liar! Pants on Fire!


You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.” – John 8:44

When I was a little girl, there were many little chants we would say that were childish and meant to hurt the other person.  One of those was “Liar! Liar! Pants on fire!”  I’m not sure what it was that would catch those pants on fire, but I’ve seen little girls turn to tears when you called them a liar!  But that was then, and this is now.  I am constantly amazed at what we allow to become acceptable conduct as a society, and how quickly our standards fall.  In my lifetime, one of the greatest falls I have seen is in the value of truth. 
We have accepted lies as part of our political system.  We no longer expect our presidents to tell the truth, and are satisfied wondering if what they are telling us is the full truth.  “Tricky Dick” they called Nixon, because he told so many lies.  “No new taxes” said Bush, and yet it was followed by additional taxes, and was excused.  Al Gore, while running for president, stated the he invented the internet. Yet instead of being rejected, he was excused as he stated that he “misspoke”.  

We’ve allowed Hollywood to make lies acceptable.  Watch any sitcom that is situated around a family, and you’ll soon see spouses encouraged to lie to each other.  Raymond (“Everybody Loves Raymond”) lies to Pam about going to play golf, and the messed up check book.  One of the most popular shows for teen girls today is called “Pretty Little Liars”.  Think back on the episodes of shows like Friends, Home Improvements, Full House, and others.  How many lies have you watched, with each one dulling your senses?
We have even reduced the severity of lies by calling them “little white lies” or “untruths”.  We find it acceptable to say that the dress doesn’t make her look fat, when that is also a lie.  We promise our kids trips to do this and that with no intention of making good on the promise.  We have even stopped teaching our kids that the truth is always the best policy, and taught them that sometimes it’s best to lie.  Think back.  Have you ever told your child, “tell them that…..” and encouraged a lie?  Have you ever crossed your fingers to “ok” telling a lie?

While lying has become an acceptable sin, our hearts grow even more calloused to the conviction of God’s word on the subject.  God’s word says that satan is the father of lies, meaning they are his offspring, created from his spirit (John 8:44), which is also called the spirit of error (1 John 3:24).  Lies are in direct conflict with the Holy Spirit, which is called the Spirit of Truth (John 15:26).  Looking at lying as a spiritual problem, which it is, can we not see the war at hand? 
With each lie you tell, each lie you do not reject, you allow satan a stronger hold on your life.  Other sin and lies go hand in hand.  In the Garden of Eden, satan spewed out the first one saying “You will not surely die” (Genesis 3:4).  Cain followed suit after killing his brother.  When God asked where Abel was, he said “I do not know.”(Genesis 4:9).  Fast forward a few hundred years and you find King David, a man after God’s own heart, being dishonest in his attempts to get Uriah to sleep with Bathsheba after getting her pregnant.  Move a few more hundred years forward and you find the Jews accusing Jesus in front of Ciaphas, calling him an “evildoer”(John 18:30), while Simon Peter stands outside the courts saying he is not one of Jesus’ followers. And in the new church, find Ananias and Sapphira lying about the land they sold when they brought only a portion of the proceeds to the church (Acts 5:3).  It’s one of those age old questions like the chicken and the egg.  Which came first, the creation of the lie or the sin?

In most cases, lies are a symptom of an even bigger issue. Satan lied to Eve because he wanted to trick her.  Cain lied because he wanted to cover up a murder.  David lied to cover adultery. The Jews lied to cover hatred and fear of Jesus.  And Simon Peter lied to make himself acceptable to others.
Lying is a common problem among all of us, an epidemic in our society.  But its cause is an even greater problem.  The next time you are tempted to tell a lie, investigate your intentions.  Why are you about to lie?  Is it to cover a sin?  Is it to make yourself more acceptable to people?  Is it to harm someone else?  Is it to cover insecurity? Lies are told for a reason.  Find the reason, and uproot the reason for your lies.  If the epidemic is to end, let the end begin with each of us.


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