by Jeffrey W. Hamilton
Text: Revelation 21:6-8
I. I have concluded that much of the work of psychologist, psychoanalysts, and even philosophers is to help mankind remove the guilt and shame of their own actions.
A. People don’t want to hear that their actions are wrong, their conscience is bothering them enough, thank you very much. They want to be absolved; they want to be justified; they want to be told that it really isn’t as bad as they thought.
B. If that is what you are looking for, you have come to the wrong place - II Timothy 4:1-5
C. We have reach the point where people can’t stand the truth
1. I remember when then-President Clinton and his wife were caught numerous times telling blatant lies
2. Yet, people were upset.
a. “You can’t call the leaders of this great nation liars!”
b. What should they be called? Inhibited truth seekers?
3. Actually, people don’t want anything said at all. They rather not think about the implications that their leaders are untrustworthy.
D. The Omaha World Herald published an article on Aug. 4, 1996 that sought to justify this action we called lying.
1. But the Bible clearly shows that God views lying as a sin.
2. The Scripture reading lumps all liars with sins such as murder and adultery. Lying will send you to Hell!
II. Everyone does it
A. “New psychological studies suggests that everyone lies at least once a day and usually more than once.”
1. Note the use of ‘studies’ to make this sound like the truth
2. The sample was drawn from 77 college students and 70 members of the local community in Texas and Virginia. It was based on diaries kept for one week.
3. I have trouble extrapolating from a sample of 147 people that all 7 billion people in the world lie on a daily basis. Especially when half the sample are college students.
B. It doesn’t matter if everyone lies or not. Truth [with a capital T] does not change.
1. God does not change - Hebrews 2:10-12
a. God is our source of Truth.
b. Though every man is a liar, God remains true - Romans 3:4
2. God is not changing his Word - Galatians 1:6-10
a. Who are we trying to please God or Man?
b. Who are we trying to persuade God or Man?
(1) Too many say, “I sure God won’t mind.”
(2) Trying to convince God that our actions are righteous.
3. The majority of this world’s population is going to Hell - Matthew 7:13-16
a. Be careful what you accept as truth.
b. Be careful to whom you listen
c. Satan, the father of lies (John 8:44) is good at putting his lies in pleasing packages
(1) Satan filled Ananias’ heart to lie - Acts 5:3-4
d. Contrast this to God, who cannot lie - Titus 1:2
e. When the majority of the world is doing something, it is cause to pause and reconsider our action. Not to find justification, but to realize that it is probably condemned.
III. It is expected
A. “Every effective president has lied with abandon, sometimes with the full permission and knowledge of the American people,” said Leonard Saxe, an adjunct professor of social welfare at Brandeis University.
B. This is not what the Bible teaches
1. Colossians 3:9 - Lying is not a part of being a Christian
2. Ephesians 4:15 - Put away lying. Speak truth to everyone.
3. Ephesians 6:14 - Truth is a part of our armor against Satan. Without truth, we are vulnerable to Satan’s attacks.
IV. It is kinder to the person
A. “If we didn’t [lie], we’d get into big trouble.”
B. “Lying is a social skill -- we do it to coat social interactions and maintain good relations with others,” said Leonard Saxe
C. “If people told you exactly what they thought all the time, that would be very hard for anyone to deal with,” said Bella DePaulo, professor of psychology at the University of Virginia.
1. There is a difference between truthfulness and tactfulness
D. “It is quite appropriate to tell your friend that you love the expensive new painting she bought, when in fact you hate it, “ said Leonard Saxe.
E. Proverbs 13:5 - A righteous man hates lying
F. I John 2:21 - No lie is of the truth
1. Truth and lies cannot mix
2. There is no such thing as a little white lie
G. Many people use lies where tact is called for
1. Colossians 4:6 - Seasoned with salt
2. And some people use “being honest” to say hurtful, spiteful things
3. I Peter 3:8-12 - Be courteous, refraining from evil, seek peace
4. Proverbs 18:23 - We don’t want to be like the rich, who speaks roughly with everyone.
5. Big difference in
a. “Your going to Hell if you keep lying”
b. “You need to follow God’s teaching and speak truthfully”
c. Both are true, but one is more apt to be listened to.
V. It saves my skin
A. “Most of the lies [in the study] were self-serving -- to enhance the liar’s status or protect him from embarrassment, disapproval, or conflict. But nearly one-fourth of the lies were to benefit other people -- to spare their feelings, for example.”
B. I truly believe that kindness has nothing to do with lying.
1. People tell other people lies because they don’t want to deal with their reactions to the truth.
a. “It is cruel to tell someone they have metatastic carcinoma that is eating way at your spine and it’s going to cause you excruciating pain and kill you in three months. There are times when physicians shouldn’t be truthful, and I think most people are grateful when you assist in their self-deception.”
b. They’re in a rush. If they tell the truth, then they will have to spend hours with a weeping, sobbing person helping them dealing with the truth.
2. They don’t want people to be mad at them. They don’t want to deal with the rejection.
3. Consider Peter who lied to protect himself - Luke 22:55-60
C. The missing ingredient is humility
1. Philippians 2:3-4 - Consider everyone else as more important.
2. Romans 12:3 - Don’t think too highly of yourself
3. Micah 6:8 - God requires us to walk humbly with Him, not proudly against Him.
4. Lying to advance yourself, to save yourself, to keep yourself from being bothered is placing yourself before your fellow man and before the righteousness of God.
VI. Some lie to hurt other people
A. False witnesses at Jesus’ trial - Matthew 26:59-60
B. Rumor spreading against Stephen - Acts 6:9-13
C. These people see destroying another person as benefitting themselves - John 11:47-48
VII. Teach our children well
A. The article has the audacity to say, “If we punish children too harshly for lying, we may make it more likely that they will lie in the future to escape further punishment,” says Leonard Saxe
B. This is pure garbage! Does punishing a child for stealing make him grow into a thief? Does punishing a child for rebelling make him grow into an anarchist?
C. Proverbs 22:6 - Train up a child in the way he should go.
D. My friends, the way we should go is clear.
1. Let us put behind us the petty excuses and stand firm in the truth.