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Summary: Tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth...and get some help doing it with this sermon about honesty.

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Big Fat Liar

Secrets for Telling the Truth

10/22/03

I. Introduction

Clip – beginning where J

Jason Shepherd is a "serial" liar. He always has excuses for his homework, that is until he gets busted! He has one last chance to turn in a story or face the terror of Summer School (every student’s worst nightmare). As he is rushing to turn in his project he runs into the limo of Hollywood producer Marty Wolf. But just when it appears that Jason will get his paper in on time, he accidentally leaves it in the limo. His teacher and parents will no longer believe Jason and there’s a final breakdown in trust.

During the summer, Jason sees a movie trailer based on his short story. The problem is no one believes that he wrote the story and suddenly he realizes how his complete lack of truthfulness has created barriers in his relationship with Mom and Dad. Jason decides to go to Hollywood and have Marty call his father, you know, to set everything straight. This is the part of the film that is amazing. Jason’s motivation is not greed or fame; he simply wants his dad to believe in him again.

There’s quite a lot we can learn from this movie. I mean, you can tell that it’s gonna be about honesty and truthfulness and lying by the title “Big Fat Liar.” The story that Jason wrote is about a guy who continues to tell lies and the more that he lies, the bigger he becomes, until he’s this huge giant crushing everything he comes in contact with. He can’t even be close to people because of the fact that he’s gotten so big. It’s kind of like Pinocchio, the wooden puppet who couldn’t tell the truth, and the more that he lied, the longer his nose got, and it wasn’t until he told the truth that he was turned back into his normal self, and finally he became a real boy. And then there’s another story…

There once was a shepherd boy who was bored as he sat on the hillside watching the village sheep. To amuse himself he took a great breath and sang out, "Wolf! Wolf! The Wolf is chasing the sheep!"

The villagers came running up the hill to help the boy drive the wolf away. But when they arrived at the top of the hill, they found no wolf. The boy laughed at the sight of their angry faces.

"Don’t cry ’wolf’, shepherd boy," said the villagers, "When there’s no wolf!" They went grumbling back down the hill.

Later, the boy sang out again, "Wolf! Wolf! The wolf is chasing the sheep!" To his naughty delight, he watched the villagers run up the hill to help him drive the wolf away.

When the villagers saw no wolf they sternly said, "Save your frightened song for when there is really something wrong! Don’t cry ’wolf’ when there is NO wolf!"

But the boy just grinned and watched them go grumbling down the hill once more.

Later, he saw a REAL wolf prowling about his flock. Alarmed, he leaped to his feet and sang out as loudly as he could, "Wolf! Wolf!"

But the villagers thought he was trying to fool them again, and so they didn’t come.

At sunset, everyone wondered why the shepherd boy hadn’t returned to the village with their sheep. They went up the hill to find the boy. They found him weeping.

"There really was a wolf here! The flock has scattered! I cried out, "Wolf!" Why didn’t you come?"

An old man tried to comfort the boy as they walked back to the village.

"We’ll help you look for the lost sheep in the morning," he said, putting his arm around the boy, "Nobody believes a liar...even when he is telling the truth!"

Aesop’s Fables contains this story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf, and that’s the basic concept of Big Fat Liar…nobody believes a liar even when he is telling the truth.

II. Lying Gets You Nowhere

Proverbs 19:22 says, “What a man desires is unfailing love; better to be poor than a liar.”

Think for a second of the most helpless, homeless person you’ve ever seen…starving for food, and a place to stay…the Bible says that it’s better to be like this man, than to be a liar.

What constitutes a lie? A lie is a false statement deliberately presented as being true; a falsehood. Something meant to deceive or give a wrong impression.

Why do we lie?

Here are some common reasons why we lie:

One of the main reasons we may tell a lie is to make ourselves look better. Can you figure that one out? If I’ve done something I’m not supposed to do, it certainly would make me look better if I told people that I didn’t do it. But it would be a lie!

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