Summary: White lies. . . Half-truth. . . They’re no big deal! The only place truth matters these days is in the courtroom, right? *HANDOUT INCLUDED*

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“A salesman knocked on the door of a house. The mother didn’t want to talk to the guy, so she told her little boy to tell him she couldn’t come to the door because she was in the hot tub. Her son answered the door this way; ‘We ain’t got no hot tub, but Mom told me to tell you she’s in it.’” [adapted from Tales of the Tardy Oxcart, p. 344]

ILLUS: On a beautiful fall day, four of my granddaughter’s friends decided to go for a drive instead of showing up to class on time. When they did arrive, the girls explained to the teacher they had had a flat tire. The teacher accepted the excuse, much to the girls’ relief. "Since you missed this morning’s quiz, you must take it now," she said. "Please sit in the four corner seats in this room without talking." When they were seated, the teacher said, "On your paper write the answer to one question: ’Which tire was flat?’”-- Clara Null, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Christian Reader, "Lite Fare."

ILLUS: In the July 15, 1993 Boardroom Reports, Peter LeVine writes: "When the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey ran a help-wanted ad for electricians with expertise at using Sontag connectors, it got 170 responses--even though there is no such thing as a Sontag connector. The Authority ran the ad to find out how many applicants falsify resumes." -- Leadership, Vol. 15, no. 1.

To prevent this problem in one church, the “minister wound up the services one morning by saying, "Next Sunday I am going to preach on the subject of LIARS. And in this connection, I would like you all to read the 17th chapter of Mark." The next Sunday, the preacher rose to begin, and said, "Now, all of you who have done as I requested and read the 17th chapter of Mark, please raise your hands." Nearly every hand in the congregation went up. "Very good," said the preacher. "You are precisely the people I wish to speak to this morning. There IS no 17th chapter of Mark!"” – Bible Illustrator.

On a scale of 1-10, how bad is lying? (10 is really bad.)

Do you have a number in mind? Good. Now, how many had it between 1 and 5? How about between 5 and 10? Here’s my point:

Most people would rank murder between 5 and 10. Most people wouldn’t rank lying there, because lying is more common, right? Everyone tells lies now and then – at least that’s what they say!

But the purpose of my preaching is to get our minds on God’s page – if your thinking is different than God’s, you need to change yours, not his!

Lying is not looked at as all that serious in our culture. If a government official does it, then the ones on the other side will call for his resignation. Other than that, it’s not really considered a big deal. In fact, a lot of people consider it helpful and good! Just listen to these quotes:

A degree of lying - you know, white lies - seems to be inherent in all languages and all forms of communication.

Matthew Lesko

Lying increases the creative faculties, expands the ego, and lessens the frictions of social contacts.

Clare Boothe Luce

Lying is the most simple form of self-defence.

Susan Sontag

Honesty is the best policy - when there is money in it.

Mark Twain

Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty.


How serious is lying?

Consider how serious lying would be in the following situations:

Firestone official: “The tires that you are riding on are safe.”

Trial witness: “I saw Brandon Sweeden with the group that robbed the bank Friday night.”

Airplane mechanic: “The engine you saw me working on will last through your entire flight.”

Groom: “I will be faithful to you alone until death.”

Sure, these are serious. But

God considers lying a very serious matter regardless of whether the consequences of that lie are immediate and deadly or not.

There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers. Proverbs 6:16-19 (NIV)

When someone asks you on Sunday morning how you are doing, you say “Fine”.Sunday mornings, that morning that we’re supposed to be the most spiritual, is in reality the day that we lie the most. We put on our nice clothes to hide the sin that is inside. We plaster on a fake smile to hide the heart that is breaking. We answer, “I’m just fine” to people when they ask us how we are doing even though our life may be falling apart.

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