Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever lied about someone else? How did you feel? Did you feel all warm and cozy inside? Or did you feel that unpleasant burning way down deep inside, where regret and guilt and shame started to grow?
I have a hard time with lying. I hate it. It isn’t that I haven’t been guilty of lying, but honestly, I am really bad at it. I can’t hide it from my face. I wasn’t blessed (or maybe cursed?) with a poker face. My husband has reminded me through the years that he just loves my eyes–they are transparent windows into whatever is in my heart–good or bad.
As I have gotten older, seeing the evidence of lies just breaks my heart. I have seen lives devastated by the dishonesty of others. So many people hurt by mean-spirited slanderers. People who “should know better.” People who try to cloak their wickedness in spiritual terms to somehow get away with it.
I am on the alert each day as little children observe my behavior, and hear my speech. I am to be a faithful example of truth and love in action. As little kids, we would say, “sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me.” You know, in that annoying, sing-songy voice.
Ummm, that isn’t true. I don’t care what we said back then. Words hurt. And they usually hurt more than broken bones. And a cast won’t heal it either.
Lest you think I am pointing the finger and forgetting about my own tongue-problems, I have had the tendency through the years to say the right thing in the wrong way at the right time for the wrong reasons to the right people on the wrong day. (It really was a big problem when I was younger and a lot less savvy than I am now.) My dad once told me to pull my tongue out three feet and cut it off. And that was when I tried to come to his DEFENSE! My own DAD!?!
I used to find it interesting that God chose to list liars in the same sentence as murderers. Wow. In my mind, lies were like misdemeanors and murder was like a felony. But God is the standard here, fortunately, and not me. He has His reasons for listing gossip and liars and those who practice witchcraft in the same breath. He can’t stand ANY of it. None. Nada. Zilch. And God is pretty exclusive about who He will allow in His holy tent, too.
A PSALM OF DAVID.
1 Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
Who may live on your holy mountain?
2 The one whose walk is blameless,
who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from their heart;
3 whose tongue utters no slander,
who does no wrong to a neighbor,
and casts no slur on others;
4 who despises a vile person
but honors those who fear the Lord;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
and does not change their mind;
5 who lends money to the poor without interest;
who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
Whoever does these things
will never be shaken.
For me, it is particularly sorrowful when someone who claims Christ as Savior and Lord is characterized by their lying and slanderous tongue. How many people will be harmed? How many testimonies destroyed? How many will reject salvation because they don’t want to “be like that so and so?”
Is it any wonder that Christians are mocked and ridiculed as hypocrites? They tolerate this evil in their midst, inside local churches, yet have the nerve to point out evil in the marketplace.
2 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye?
We are a sorry bunch of saved sinners, aren’t we? When we participate in this type of behavior, we are trampling on the blood of our Savior. Sinning openly and without remorse. Do we forget that we are ALL purchased by that same sacrificial blood? Have we failed to realize that our Savior bore our LOAD of sin and shame in His own body at Calvary?
WE ARE GOING TO BE IN HEAVEN TOGETHER FOR ETERNITY…why are we living in such a contrary way to that abundant life that is offered to us, here and now? We have our time on earth to prepare for that eternity.
So, what next? I am getting out the bottle of soap…