You Can’t Hide a Lie
Read Proverbs 12:19-22 (ESV)
Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment. Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but those who plan peace have joy. No ill befalls the righteous, but the wicked are filled with trouble. Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who act faithfully are his delight.
Think about the last time you told a lie. Was it a little white lie or a lie that could have serious consequences? Either way, what was your motivation for lying? Why didn’t you tell the truth?
You likely remember the story of Pinocchio. Remember how his nose grew every time he told a lie? It didn’t matter if it was a little fib or a big whopper. If Pinocchio told an untruth—whoop—his nose got just a little bit longer. He couldn’t hide a lie. Unfortunately for us, though, we often think that we can lie and get away with it. Especially with those little white lies. They never hurt anyone, and no one will ever know the truth, right? It’s not like we have “LIAR” written all over our face. So we lie to avoid awkward situations, to make ourselves look better, to avoid hurting other people’s feelings, to avoid the consequences of our actions, etc.
We may think that we are able to get away with lies but it is just not so. God knows. The author of Hebrews said “And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13). In other words, God sees our sins, including lies, and we are accountable to Him for our actions. In Jeremiah 23:24, the prophet Jeremiah wrote: “Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD.” If we think we can hide our lies from God, we are as foolish as Pinocchio.
In today’s verses, wise King Solomon gave us a general life principle—those who are honest, peaceful, and righteous are a delight to the LORD and will be blessed. But lying lips are an abomination to the LORD and those who lie will experience trouble. Now remember, proverbs are just wise sayings that are generally true. They are not promises from God. But usually, those who tell the truth avoid heaps of trouble in life. There are many benefits of committing to a life of honesty! And if you’ve ever gotten yourself caught in a web of lies, you know that lying never serves you for long. Instead, you end up serving it. Plus, the truth always comes out, usually leaving a path of devastation in its wake.
Why does God detest dishonesty? Because it is antithetical to who He is. He doesn’t just tell us the truth, He IS the truth. “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). He is the originator of truth.
In contrast, Jesus said that Satan is the originator of falsehood. “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). Lies are a reflection of Satan but the truth is a reflection of God.
Friends, every time we open our mouths we have a choice to make. We can choose to speak the truth or we can choose to speak a lie. That choice will either be evidence of the Holy Spirit’s transforming power in our lives or it will be evidence of our sinful, fallen nature. None of us are perfect. But if we are in Christ, we have the power to make choices that honor God. If you struggle with lying, I encourage you to spend some time in prayer today asking God to help you tell the truth. Ask Him to continue His sanctifying work in that area of your life. Remember, He delights in the truth because He is truth.
Lord, I confess that sometimes I struggle with honesty. But I want my words to honor You. Please continue to sanctify me with Your Word which is truth (John 17:17). Help me to overcome my tendency to lie and teach me to live a life of honesty. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford