Most of us don’t set out to be liars; we don’t wake up and ask, “How am I going to lie today?”
We are much more subtle and nuanced. Sometimes lying just sort of creeps into our decisions. Lying is certainly a big deal to God. Bearing false witness is number nine in the Ten Commandments and God gave instructions about lying and falsehood throughout Scripture. In fact, there is a special shout out–and consequence–to those who “love and practice falsehood” in the last chapter of the Bible.
God, however, is not concerned with us simply telling lies. He desires that we live authentic, genuine lives. The short passages below give us a clue about the truthful nature we are to embody. As you read the passages, notice what they say about falsehood, truth and lying.
“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body” (Eph. 4:25).
“Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” (Col. 3:9-10).
Both of these passages are part of letters that were written to believers—followers of Christ. Ephesians opens with a greeting of: “To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus.” Colossians opens with: “To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ.” These first readers were holy. They were faithful in Christ. Yet, they still were instructed to speak truthfully and not lie.
It’s not the overt lying that we have to worry about. It’s the subtle falsehoods that creep in, frequently out of selfishness and fear. These might show up in our lives as:
- harboring secret habits
- wearing masks (projecting to be something we are not)
- hiding our hurts
- withholding truth
- thinking one thing and doing another
The English word pseudo comes from the Greek word (the language of the New Testament) that we translate falsehood. You probably recognize pseudo as meaning “fake” or “pretend.” When the first readers of Colossians and Ephesians heard this word, they would have understood it to describe “something that is not what it seems to be.”
So here is the hard question: Are you what you seem to be? This leads to a follow-up question: What needs to change in you so that you are what you seem to be? To help with any changes or adjustments, close this devo time with a stop and a start.