Weekly Sabbath Survey
Stories & Lies — 11-19-2016
Every culture has its story tellers. These people were/are the historians of cultures without written language. And what we might call tall tales are fun. Other stories provide a record of family experiences we pass on to our children and grandchildren. My kids and grandkids ask me to tell stories of my childhood or my boys growing up years. No matter how many times I tell a story, we all laugh very much every time. I have a longtime friend who is quite the story teller himself. He regales us at gatherings with his recollections. Once he told a “huntin’ camp” tale about how the guys pulled a practical joke on one of the group. We all shook with side-splitting guffaws as he went on and on. At the end, all of us laughing ’til we cried, he said, “Now, that may not be exactly how that happened, but if not, it should have been!” There was no doubt, an element of exaggeration at work! Another old timer story teller said, “Why ruin a really good story by stickin’ to the facts when a little imagination can really entertain the folks?” So, those who appreciate that sentiment have learned to expect a little touch of Pecos Bill, Davy Crockett, or Chupacabra from of our story tellers, while sittin’ around the camp fire. They don’t tell something to LIE, but to give people a good laugh. Authors write fiction, and sometimes, story tellers just tell it. It’s spinnin’ a yarn.
So, if story telling isn’t lying, what is? A lie is something told to cover up an evil deed or to protect the lying person from harm; or to enhance one’s standing with others like taking credit for something I didn’t do. It could also be something said to deceive or take advantage of another person, financially or otherwise. And sometimes a lie is said to do harm to another person, like spreading gossip that the speaker knows is not true. In the Bible the words for lie and liar mean to deceive, to falsify. Number 9 on God’s Top Ten List is Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. So, that would make lying about or against another person a SIN. Anything said to deliberately cheat someone or otherwise take advantage of them, is akin to The Father of Lies, which is, in fact, the devil.
Paul wrote “. . . put away lying, let every man speak the truth in love . . .” There is a list of things that put a welcome mat for the devil. Lying is one of those. That ol’ snake is most assuredly very comfortable with lying, filthy (corrupt) communication, and slander (evil speaking, ugly gossip) coming out of our mouths. He finds a ‘place’ we make for him and brings along bad spiritual vibes that reverberate in our homes and our hearts, working to drive away the good things of God’s Spirit, like peace, harmony, joy, and even love.
There was a time in American society when lying was very frowned upon. Now, we’re hardly fazed by it. Ordinary, “good” people lie to each other in a pinch. I heard someone quote, “A lie is an abomination to the Lord, and a very present help in time of trouble.” That’s two very different Scriptures put together to say something the Bible doesn’t say! Salesmen lie to make a sale. Preachers lie from the pulpit. Kids lie to avoid a whuppin’. Spouses lie to each other for a variety of reasons. And some of the most accomplished liars get themselves elected to public office, maybe even as President of the U.S.A.
One thing that our Lord God and Jesus are is TRUTH. When we are not in the truth, not telling the truth, we are missing a key element of who we are supposed to be if we know salvation in Jesus. Christians DO NOT lie. Sadly, some of the slickest liars I ever knew or heard of said they were—Christians!
Some of us may think we are so free in Jesus we can do whatever we want because ‘we are not bound by the law.’ Christians are free from the LAW of sin and death. That means for Believers, it is no longer true that we are doomed to be sinners and to die eternally, as God said in the Garden of Eden. Once we are under the Blood of Jesus, this no longer applies to us. But that doesn’t mean we can run around doing what we want. The rest of The Law is still there! We cannot lie, steal, covet, murder, blaspheme God, etc. When we sin, if we repent we are restored to righteousness. But we must understand this: The blood of Jesus shed at Calvary is not a lucky charm, magic potion or Get Outta Jail Free card. And it certainly isn’t a license to sin without consequences. Truth or Consequences. Yessiree Bob!!!
. . . and, all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: Revelation 21:8
Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
Copyright June 2016
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