Those Lies We Tell...
- "He who speaks the truth gives honest evidence, but a false witness utters deceit. There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Truthful lips endure for ever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment. Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but those who plan good have joy. No ill befalls the righteous, but the wicked are filled with trouble. Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who act faithfully are his delight." Proverbs 12:17-22 (RSV)
Jesus said, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." (John 8:32) The Apostle Paul said, "Speak the truth in love." (Ephesians 4:15) Despite this, in our world, in our courts, in Washington, in many places, and even in our hearts and brains, we all tell lies to ourselves and others. We fail to recognize the truth. We play with the truth.
When depressed, we might tell ourselves that we are "worthless". This is a lie. God sees worth in every one of us. In Jeremiah, God even says he knows us before we are born (Jeremiah 1:5). God has a plan for each life. God has hope for our future. We are not worthless to God. Genesis tells us we were created in the image of God.
There are other lies we tell ourselves. We might feel "bad" for doing something that is right. A friend may be angry at us for doing something right, something necessary, something fair and just. But does that mean we are "bad" for doing what is right? No, this too is a lie. A lie we tell ourselves.
You might lie to yourself about how you look, how smart you are, how you feel. You might lie to yourself or God about whether or not you are really faithful. Proverbs, the gospel of John, Ephesians, and many other places in our Bible emphasize the importance of faithful people NOT telling lies and telling the truth in love.
The expression "face the music" is said to have originated in Japan. According to the story, one man in the imperial orchestra couldn't play a note. Being a person of great influence and wealth, he had demanded that he be given a place in the group because he wanted to "perform" before the emperor. The conductor agreed to let him sit in the second row of the orchestra, even though he couldn't read music. He was given a flute, and when a concert would begin, he'd raise his instrument, pucker his lips, and move his fingers. He would go through all the motions of playing, but he never made a sound. This deception continued for 2 years. Then a new conductor took over. He told the orchestra that he wanted to audition each player personally. One by one they performed in his presence. Then came the flutist's turn. He was frantic with worry, so he pretended to be sick. However, the doctor who was ordered to examine him declared that he was perfectly well. The conductor insisted that the man appear and demonstrate his skill. With shame, he had to confess that he was a fake. He was unable to "face the music".
In the realm of Christian service, many professing believers go through the motions, but they are only pretenders. Someday they will be called upon to stand before the Judge of heaven and earth, and their deception will be revealed. God will then separate the "phonies" from the real Christians, those who lie to themselves and others from those who speak the truth in love. No one will be able to hide in the crowd. Each will be made to "face the music." Can You Face The Music?
That will depend on whether you speak the truth in love.... or lie to yourself or others whether its in what you say or what you think. Listen to Your Lord in this hour, and discern the truth. According to Proverbs written above, lying is an abomination to God. Is there a lie that is destroying your life? Is a relationship suffering under a half-truth? Thinking you are just being nice, how many "white lies" slip out of your mouth to cover up the truth you feel? Are you better at telling lies to yourself, to God, or to others? Every lie requires repentance. Are you sorry for the lies you tell, or just upset the lies were revealed? Are you known as someone who tells the truth? If the truth sets you free, according to Jesus, what lies are keeping you enslaved today?