Summary: Although the movie, "Liar, Liar" is a comedy, the issue of lying is anything but funny. Max’s birthday wish was for his father to stop lying. God has that same desire for us. He understands how serious of an issue lying is and how important it is for his
THE TRUTH ABOUT LYING
INTRODUCTION: Jim Carrey movie, “Liar, Liar”. “Jim Carrey plays Fletcher Reede, a career-focused lawyer and divorced father. Fletcher loves to spend time with his son Max, but he has a habit of giving precedence to his job, breaking promises to Max and his ex-wife Audrey and then lying about the reasons. Fletcher's compulsive lying has also built him a reputation as one of the best defense lawyers in the state of California as he is climbing the ladder in the firm for which he works. Ultimately, Fletcher misses his son's fifth birthday party. Max makes a birthday wish that his father would be unable to tell a lie for an entire day—a wish that immediately becomes true. Fletcher soon discovers, through a series of embarrassing incidents that he is unable to lie, mislead, or even withhold a true answer.” Although the movie is a comedy, the issue of lying is anything but funny. Max’s birthday wish was for his father to stop lying. God has that same desire for us. He understands how serious of an issue lying is and how important it is for his followers to overcome it. Let’s take a look at this subject and what we can do about it.
1) Why do we lie?
• It’s natural. The “Liar, Liar” movie received good reviews. I’m sure one of the reasons for that is because on some level we can all relate. We can relate to being a liar as well as being lied to. For some people, they view lying as a survival instinct. They feel they can’t get by in life without telling a lie every now and then. A poll of 25,000 high schoolers found that nearly half agreed with the statement, “A person has to lie or cheat sometimes in order to succeed.” It’s just a part of life. Lying is part of our old nature. And our old nature is directed by Satan and Satan is the father of lies John 8:44b, “He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is not truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” It’s natural for Satan to lie and apart from Christ it’s natural for us to lie too.
• To protect ourselves. We lie to avoid getting into trouble. We tell someone what they want to hear so we don’t have them upset at us. We don’t want to hurt their feelings. Really it’s that we don’t want to be uncomfortable knowing we’ve hurt their feelings. So we lie to avoid a confrontation. We lie to get ourselves off the hook. We conclude it’s just easier on ourselves if we lie about it. I just want to get way from this uncomfortable situation. We tell lies to protect ourselves.
• Selfish gain. When there’s something to be gained we will be apt to lie. We make the compromise because of our materialistic desires. However, we are not gaining at all. Instead, we are losing. Prov. 21:6, “A fortune made by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare.” No matter how much money I’m making due to dishonesty and deceit it will last only a moment. And in the wake of that dishonesty is mounds of trouble. I think of people who cheat the system; people who lie on their taxes or work under the table. People who are fraudulent or embezzle and cover it up. Then they get caught and have to pay it all back along with fines and jail time. In the end telling lies profit nothing. Prov. 19:22b, “better to be poor than a liar.”
2) How do we lie? There are different ways to lie than just out and out lying.
• Deception. Psalm 5:9, “Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with destruction. Their throat is an open grave; with their tongue they speak deceit.” We deceive when we are misleading someone. Joe the Butcher had crafty ways of selling his chickens. Once he had only one chicken left in his shop and he didn’t want to keep it over the weekend. The priest of his church came into the store. He said, "My wife sent me to buy a good size chicken to roast for dinner. We’re having my boys come back home from college." Joe said, "I have just what you need." He went to the freezer and brought out the last chicken and put it on the scale. He said, "This one is 2 pounds 3 ounces." The priest said, "That’s sort of small. Do you have anything else?" Joe took the chicken back into the freezer and came back with the same chicken; it was the only one he had. He put it on the scale and this time said, "This one is 3 pounds and five ounces. But since you’re a man of God, I’m going to let you have it for the same price." The priest said, "Well, thank you, but come to think of it, the way my boys eat, just go ahead and give me both of the chickens." Joe had been caught. Deception is lying and lying gets us nowhere.