Like many of the other subjects I have been writing about, I was once blinded about what made someone a liar. A liar.. me? “Of course not,” is what I would have said if anyone asked me if I was a liar a year ago. But was I a liar? I sure was.
Below is the story about Sarah, Abraham’s wife, and how she had lied to God. Some may say that she was joking or had simply bent the truth because of fear but honestly, she lied.
Genesis 18:1-15 (AMP):
” 1 Now the Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks or terebinths of Mamre; as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day 2He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men stood at a little distance from him. He ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the ground 3And said, My lord, if now I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant, I beg of you. 4Let a little water be brought, and you may wash your feet and recline and rest yourselves under the tree.5And I will bring a morsel (mouthful) of bread to refresh and sustain your hearts before you go on further–for that is why you have come to your servant. And they replied, Do as you have said.6So Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah and said, Quickly get ready three measures of fine meal, knead it, and bake cakes.7And Abraham ran to the herd and brought a calf tender and good and gave it to the young man [to butcher]; then he [Abraham] hastened to prepare it.8And he took curds and milk and the calf which he had made ready, and set it before [the men]; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.9And they said to him, Where is Sarah your wife? And he said, [She is here] in the tent.10[The Lord] said, I will surely return to you when the season comes round, and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son. And Sarah was listening and heard it at the tent door which was behind Him.11Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in years; it had ceased to be with Sarah as with [young] women. [She was past the age of childbearing].12Therefore Sarah laughed to herself, saying, After I have become aged shall I have pleasure and delight, my lord (husband), being old also? 13And the Lord asked Abraham, Why did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I really bear a child when I am so old? 14Is anything too hard or too wonderful for the Lord? At the appointed time, when the season [for her delivery] comes around, I will return to you and Sarah shall have borne a son. 15Then Sarah denied it, saying, I did not laugh; for she was afraid. And He said, No, but you did laugh.”
There is no such thing as a small lie. No such thing as a white lie. Not even a such thing as a big lie. A lie is a lie. The Bible even refers to what we may call compulsive liars but with the truth of what being a compulsive liar is a result of. 1 Timothy 4:2 (NIV): ” Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.”
This past summer I found myself in a situation where I was momentarily willing to lie. I received a call early in the morning from someone who is really close to me and whom I care a lot about. She called because she had applied for a job position and the company had shown interest in her. After hearing the good news I was extremely happy for her. I knew she and her husband had been unemployed for several years as a result of our recent economical hardships. As the conversation continued she told me why she had called me in the first place. The company asked to speak with a reference and she thought I would be the best person. She quickly gave me the rundown of when the company would call, what I should say, and who exactly I was supposed to be. She sounded so desperate and I was hoping to go back to sleep; so I answered with a simple, “Sure.” She then hung up and I tried to go back to sleep. I tossed and turned for 15 minutes trying to go back sleep but I couldn’t because the Lord was getting my attention.
God: “Call her back and tell her that you cannot lie for her.”
Me: “I am tired God. Can I call and tell her later?”
God: “Don’t let her go another second thinking that you will lie for her. Not if you want to serve Me.”
I decided that I would contact her at that moment but then I found myself uneasy about something else. I began to think about how difficult it would be to tell this lady that I wouldn’t lie for her. She is an older woman who I have known for all of my life and has two kids, one in college. For so many years I had listened to her complain about the struggles of paying her mortgage, her car expenses, and the tuition of her child in college. Couldn’t I just kind of
help her out help her sin? Nope. That isn’t helping. A lie is a lie. I began to try to convince God, or myself, that I wouldn’t be lying.
Me: “I mean I can vouch that she is a hard and diligent worker, right?”
What God asked me next shut all of my uncertainty down.
God:“Have you ever worked with her?”
God:“Have you ever even worked for that company?”
God: “Are you an established woman living in Pennsylvania as described in the role you’ve been given in this lying skit?”
God: “Is anything mentioned in this situation the truth?”
As you may have guessed I got quiet and in that moment of silence God led me to contact her at that very moment. I was reluctant but I eventually contacted her again. I began the conversation saying that I won’t be able to speak with the company as a reference. She quickly asked,”Why”. This would have been so much easier if I had just said no in the first place. I told her that if I spoke with a representative as being an old co-worker of hers I would be lying. And If I want to truly serve God, lying is never acceptable. She said that she understood and then began to explain why she asked me to
do her a favor lie originally. She stated that she had only desperately wanted the job but that she respects my reasoning for not wanting to be a reference. Once the conversation ended I found myself actually feeling bad. Then I had to catch myself and ask if I was conforming to the ways of the world or to the ways of God. I was about to transgress against our Father and my only obligation is to make things right with Him. I felt that I had in some sense led her on and thus had her thinking that I would lie for her so that she may get the job. After all, she did end up getting the job without any lies of mine. How she got a reference, who she got it from, or when she got it is beyond my knowledge. I just did what the Lord told me to do.
Additionally, lying for her could cripple her progress in getting to know the Lord. What if that opportunity was a time God would use to get her attention? My testimony may appear very hypocritical to her or anyone else who I am willing to sin for or with. If I were to lie she could easily dismiss Christianity to be nothing but false religion. If I had gone through with the plan of lying in the situation mentioned earlier I could have presented a skewed perception of my relationship with Christ. Furthermore, God told me that my walk with Him needs to reflect in all areas of my life. Lying would have allowed this woman to think we are the same because we were both lying. But Christians are supposed to be different. We are supposed to stand out. I would’ve been acting as a follower of Satan’s instructions and how can a follower of Satan’s help free someone who is also held captive by the evil one? Only God’s chosen can do that.
Leviticus 19:11 (NIV): “Do not steal. Do not lie. Do not deceive one another.”
Psalm 58:3 (NIV): “Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward and speak lies.”
Psalms 63:11 (NIV): “But the kind will rejoice in God; all who swear by God’s name will praise him, while the mouths of liars will be silenced.”
Psalms 120:2 (NIV): “Save me, O Lord, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues.”
Proverbs 12:22 (NIV): “The Lord detests lying lips, but He delights in men who are truthful.”
Proverbs 19:5 (NIV): “A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who pours out lies will not go free.”
Proverbs 19:22 (NIV): “What a mean desires is unfailing love; better to be poor than a liar.” ~~~~I had to read this one 4 times.
Proverbs 6:17 (NIV): “Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood.”
The whole existence of lying is explained in the next verse. John 8:44 (NIV): ” You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out of your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” When I get the desire to lie I ask God to remind me what lying does for me. I view it as basically competing with the father of lies for his job. The work of our Heavenly Father is based in truth. The whole being of Christianity is founded in truth. I won’t ease the minds of Muslims or Buddhists by telling lies regarding Jesus being the only true way to God. I pray that I don’t lie to receive a good grade. I pray that I don’t lie to or for a friend. I pray that I don’t lie to or for my parents. I pray that I don’t even lie to myself. How can a lying Christian be a witness of Christ? How can a lying Christian even proclaim the truth of the Gospel? I choose truth and I encourage others to choose truth too.