For a lot of people these days, lying isn’t a subject that they think about or that concerns them. Maybe they don’t think they ever lie and so they are not worried about it. Or maybe they do lie quite regularly, but don’t think it’s any big deal. I haven’t thought about it very much myself—until recently. The recent U. S. presidential debates (Feb. 20, 2016) have brought this subject to our minds hasn’t it? Personally, I have felt rather sick about it—mostly about the accusations.
It was hard to believe the things I heard going back and forth. It was shocking. It was like hearing children bad talking each other on the playground. But these are our presidential candidates! I understand that we are facing important issues, but lying and accusing others of lying isn’t helping anything. I have tried to listen to the debates as closely as possible and it seems to me that most of the candidates—with one or two exceptions—are not seeking to understand what the other has said or was trying to say; they were mostly interested in trying to catch the other in a lie in order to make themselves look better. And recently, it has gotten so bad that some have accused each other of lying “all the time.” But that itself is a lie!
Well like I said, I am really upset about how the debates are going and how low some of them have stooped to prop themselves up in the polls. Some may say that it is just the nature of politics. But I say, that is a poor excuse to sin. We all should know better, especially our leaders. For these reasons I have prepared this biblical study on lying.
WHAT IS LYING?
- It is a falsehood. It is altering the truth in word or deed.
- A lie is something we say or do that is meant to deceive (mislead or misinform).
LYING IS THE NATURE OF A NON-CHRISTIAN
It is written in various scriptures that the devil is a liar and a deceiver (e.g. Rev. 20:3, 8). That is his nature. And many do not accept this, but, if one is not a Christian, he also has the same sinful nature as the devil. This is explained by Jesus, in John 8:43-44, when one day as He was talking to a group of Pharisees (the Jewish religious leaders of that day), He came right out and said to them,
“Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. 44 “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies.
A further proof that lying is in the nature of a non-Christian is in the fact that he does not have Jesus Christ dwelling in him. For if one does not possess Jesus or the Holy Spirit in him, then he does not have the truth in him to guide him, for Jesus is the truth and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth (Jn. 14:6; 16:13).
Now I am not saying that a person who is not a Christian lies all the time, continuously. All I am saying is that lying is part of his nature. He doesn’t think it is such a bad thing, especially if he can get by with it without getting caught. Some non-Christians I think are very good about not lying. They have, probably for some personal gain, trained themselves to not lie, even though it is in their nature to do so. In fact, some non-Christians seem to be better at not lying than some Christians I know. Maybe that is because a non-Christian knows more about lying than a Christian does and he know how to get around it or in some cases disguise it. It is not natural for a Christian to lie so he can’t disguise it very well. He is very bad at it. To see a Christian lie and be deceptive is one of the saddest things I have ever seen (this certainly has been true with at least one of the presidential candidates).
LYING IS NOT THE NATURE OF A CHRISTIAN, EVEN THOUGH SOMETIMES CHRISTIANS LIE
In 2 Corinthians 5:17 it says,
Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. NASB
The “old things” talked about here are the old ways of a non-believer, all the sins that he or she loved, all the sinful desires. When one becomes a Christian the old sinful nature goes away; and now he or she has new desires—a new Christ-like nature. That is because Christ is living inside the person, and when they read and abide in the word of God they start to know the truth and to know Jesus who is the truth (Jn. 8:32; Jn. 14:6). They have begun a new life, a life based on truth. With this truth embedded in them they take on a truth nature; a nature that wants to always tell the truth.
From time to time a Christian will still sin and still lie (in word or deed), but it is not his or her nature. Like Abraham and Isaac, they do it out of some fear (Gen. 12:13; ch. 26).