Recently at Uturn Jr. High we discussed the topic of lying and how easy it is to be dishonest throughout the day. We can lie by giving false truth, we can lie by exaggerating the truth, we can lie by cheating, we can lie by twisting the truth to benefit ourselves, or we can even lie by omitting/holding back the truth. In fact, lying is one of those choices we can make so instinctively that we may not even realize that we have been dishonest. Lying is also one of those subject matters that has become so easily excused by our culture, whether its a "little white lie" or "kind of cheating" or some other form of deceit we have found it to be culturally acceptable and even justify our deception with logic. "Well its okay to cheat on your homework cause they give you the answers in the back of the book" or "I don't have to tell my parents what I did last night cause they didn't ask".
If you read in Acts chapter 5 verses 1 through 11, you see an example of how God commands his followers to be honest. In this example, there are two individuals (Ananias and Sapphira) who sell their property and give most of the money to the church as a donation. Unfortunately they tell the church that what they gave was the full amount, even though they had decided to hold onto some of the profits for their own personal gain. When confronted about the issue by the church leaders, both Ananias and Sapphira lie about giving the full amount of money and are both instantly struck dead by God. WHOA!
Now this story isn't in the Bible to scare us that if we don't give God all of our money He'll send lightning bolts from heaven to kill us. What this story shows is that God wants the people of his church to be honest with each other. There was no need for Ananias and Sapphira to lie about how much they gave, in fact the church leader even said that there was nothing wrong with them keeping some of the money; the issue came down to their dishonesty and lack of integrity.
Lying is such an interesting topic because we're told since we were little kids "DON'T LIE", yet such a simple command can so easily be overlooked and broken. On the topic of lying Jesus had a simple thought in the book of Matthew chapter 5 verse 37 - Let your "Yes" be "Yes" and your "No" be "No". Again a simple command that is not simple to follow. In fact Jesus even describes himself as "THE TRUTH", so as followers of Christ we need to be making conscious choices to be truth tellers. Another reason to strive for honesty in your life is that lying hurts people. We've all been on the negative side of a lie; whether it was a rumor, some one cheated us, or a broken promise. Deception, deceit, and dishonesty can hurt people and destroy our relationships.
This week we want to challenge you to think about the following questions as we've discussed this topic of lying: When do you lie? How do you lie? Why do you choose to lie? Hopefully as you reflect on these questions you'll be able to discover your motivations for choosing to lie and our prayer is that you'll make the decision to repent of that habit and in the future choose to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.