God hates a lying tongue. In fact, falsehood makes his “despised seven” list twice. (See Proverbs 6:16-19.) God hates a lying tongue in general – verse 17 – and, more specifically, a false witness who pours out lies – verse 19.
That’s a bit scary, isn’t it? We’ve all lied. To keep a sinful friend out of trouble. To hide from the painful truth. To cover our own backside. To get back at someone who hurt us. To score points with that girl we like. To buy time.
God hates all that. He detests a lying tongue. He reviles a false witness.
Why? Because falsehood damages the reputation of godly men. Because lying destroys trust. Because perjury condemns the innocent and sets the guilty free. Because hiding from the truth doesn’t lead to repentance. Because dishonesty corrupts the political process. Because deception cheats the customer out of his hard-earned cash.
We all understand that lying is wrong. There’s a natural revulsion for falseness in all of us. Even those who don’t love Jesus hate lying. Lie to them and they’ll come unglued.
But as much as we or they hate it in the other guy, we’re still tempted to lie. The desire to fudge a bit when the pressure’s on can be overwhelming, seemingly irresistible.
“You’ll lose your friends if you tell them the ugly truth,” Satan whispers. “Besides, it’s not really a lie. It’s just the withholding of a bit of information. No one will know.”
Only those relying entirely on God’s Spirit in them can successfully ignore the enemy’s appeal to stretch the truth.
You want to keep from lying? Here’s what you do.
“Submit yourselves…to God.” Ask for his hatred of lying. Ask for his strength to say no. Then, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7, NIV) Thumb your nose at the spirit who hates you more than you can imagine, the guy who wants to kill you, steal from you and destroy you. Speak the truth courageously to spite him.
It’s fear inspired by him that tests your resolve. Reject fear. It’s a ruse. Fear has to do with judgment and you have nothing to fear if you are God’s child – forgiven, set free, made whole.
Submit yourself to God. Resist the devil. There is no other way to win over the temptation to lie.
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