Lies & Deceit

September 14, 2012

Lies and deceit are no light things in God’s eyes, yet many people, even those who claim that they love and obey Christ, seem to commit these sins whenever it is convenient for them to do so. They often lie about even the most trivial of things (showing that lying is simply their way of life), while at other times, they lie just to see if they can get away with it. In fact, deceiving others is often a game liars like to play with their friends –to see who can create the biggest deception and cause the biggest drama in another innocent person’s life. With no shame, they take pride in being skilled at, making money by, and building their “powerful” empires through, their suave ability to lie and deceive.

Why do people engage in lies and deceit when, if they could for one minute quit their self-centered thought processes, they could remember the Golden Rule? Apparently, they practice these sins because it achieves for them a feeling of power, or because it brings them some other benefit, or simply because they are cowardly and cannot admit to the truth. However, God’s Word has much to say about such conduct. It commands that we do not lie (Ex. 20:16 // Col. 3:9), nor that we speak or act with deceit. (Ps. 5:9 // 1 Peter 2:1) Those who practice these have made themselves abhorrent to the Lord (Ps. 5:6), and they will therefore not go unpunished, but will eventually be destroyed and perish in Hell. (same verse // Prov. 19:5,9 // Rev. 21:8,27)

When people lie they are being like their father, the devil, whom Jesus calls “a liar and the father of lies”. (John 8:44) 1 Tim. 1:9,10 lump liars in with the worst of sinners –murderers, adulterers, perverts, and others who are called ungodly rebels. It is strange then that people who consider themselves upright and moral and good would think little about even “sometimes” engaging in lies and deceit.

Is there ever a time when God allows for us to lie or deceive others? Actually, yes. But it is very rare and only when it is necessary for preserving life, avoiding a crime, or in time of war (war between nations, not war between families, friends, co-workers, church members, etc. –in case someone tries to misunderstand me). One example of a commendable lie was when Rahab protected the Israelite spies by lying to her countrymen because she believed in the Lord and His purposes. (Josh 2:4,5,9 // Heb. 11:31) Another example would be when God-fearing Germans hid Jews from the Nazis. And another example would be when intruders come into a house wishing to kill or rape and the father lies and says no one else is at home.

But, aside from rare exceptions, speaking or acting so as to lie and deceive others is something God watches and condemns. The Word of God reveals that those who engage in it prove that they have sinful and wicked hearts, hearts which refuse to fear God, and souls which have deliberately kept themselves under the eternal wrath of God. If God loathes those who practice lies and deceit, should the rest of us consider these sins of little consequence –in others or in ourselves? Definitely not. Being hard on it is the only way to respond. Otherwise it can grow, spread, infect others, and even ruin the lives of those it betrays.

Let it be understood: God’s Word equates a deceitful heart with one that is exceedingly wicked. (Jer. 17:9) It tells us that the Lord abhors such a person (Ps. 5:6) and warns that He Himself will bring them to ruin in this life (52:1-7), and that He will refuse them entrance into Heaven, along with the rest of those who commit impure and shameful acts. (Rev. 21:27)

with love,

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