How old are children when they figure out how to evade responsibility by lying? Five? Four? Three? Jesus told the Pharisees once that when the devil lies, he is speaking his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. The sin we’re all born with gives us that same fluency in the native language of liars.
Truth telling is learned behavior. It’s hard work, because lying can be such a quick and easy way to shed blame, cover misdeeds, and make other people look bad. Lying is bad in and of itself, but it is especially evil when lies are used to damage someone else’s reputation. God thought lying so dangerous that he built it into his ten laws: “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16).
For this and every sin we sinful liars need a Savior, one who spoke the truth for all of us and bore the punishment for the lies of all of us. Joined to him now in faith, part of his holy body, called and empowered for new life, let’s make a fresh start, and it all starts now: “Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” (Colossians 3:9,10).
Even when the truth is hard, believers can handle the truth.
Pastor Mark Jeske brought the good news of Jesus Christ to viewers of Time of Grace for 18 years. He is currently the senior pastor at St. Marcus Church, a thriving multicultural congregation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mark is the author of several books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics. He and his wife, Carol, have four adult children.
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