Lies, Lying and Liars
Sermon shared by Bill Sullivan
Summary: The world seems to agree that lying is not a good thing, but the believer in Christ has different reasons for that.
Audience: General adults
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Lies, Lying and Liars
October 17, 2004
How many of you have ever received a gift you didnít like? Maybe it was a really hideous tie. Maybe it was a fruitcake. Iíve heard of families where the same fruitcakes were passed along from member to member for years.
Nobody could bring themselves to eat it. Well, in the interest of helping you handle these situations without having to hurt someoneís feelings, I offer
The top 7 things to say about a gift you donít like
7. Hey! Thereís a gift!
6. This is perfect for wearing around the basement.
5. If the dog buries it, Iíll be furious!
4. I love it - but I fear the jealousy it will inspire.
3. Sadly, tomorrow I enter the Federal Witness Protection Program.
2. To think - I got this gift the same year I vowed to give all my gifts to charity.
And the Number One Thing to say about a gift you donít like:
1. "I really donít deserve this."
Weíre all faced with such situations...and we can debate on whatís appropriate to say in protecting someoneís feelings in given situations. I donít want to get bogged down this morning in these kinds of questions, these special cases, as much as I want to look at the bigger picture of what scripture has to say about Lies, Lying and Liars.
Maybe you agree with the little boy who was asked what a lie was and replied,
"A lie is an abomination to the Lord, but a very present help in time of trouble!"
But the truth is that there is a cost to lying. Those who lie, sometimes even once in a given situation, find it hard to win their way back to being trusted again.
I find it very interesting that in our culture of lying, which weíll examine in depth this morning, itís still one of the worse things you can say of someone...He or she is a liar.
Almost everybody does it, but no one wants to be labeled a liar. A look at secular bookshelves tells you that.
On the left these books include Al Frankenís Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them. On the right of the political spectrum, you have Ann Coulterís Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right.
If thereís anything in scripture thatís absolutely clear, even if only by the sheer force of the number of times itís prohibited, or spoken about negatively, it would be lying.
Leviticus 19:11 " íDo not lie. " íDo not deceive one anotherĒ
As people who follow the One who said, I am the Truth, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the hallmark of our character, a mark of our integrity, should be that we are truth-tellers.
Itís interesting that, the admonition to tell the truth, and the corresponding injunction against lying, is something that is spoken of clearly in almost every major world religion.
Itís a standard on which most of the world seems to agree, even if, as weíll see, that agreement doesnít seem to affect behavior as it should.
Taoism says: Do not assert with your mouth what your heart denies.
Buddhism say: ďLying is the origin of all evils; it leads to rebirth in the miserable planes of existence, to breach of the pure precepts, and to corruption of the body.Ē
Oooh. Rebirth in the miserable planes of existence canít be good.
Hinduism says: All things are determined by speech; speech is their root, and from speech they proceed. Therefore he who is dishonest with respect to speech is dishonest in everything.
Islam says ďThere are three characteristics
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