The lying tongue – Femi Aribisala
By Femi Aribisala
A lie is something false said with the intention to deceive. To tell a lie is to avoid telling the truth. This is done by saying something untrue outright, or by fudging the truth.
Sinful man classifies lies in different categories. Fabrications are things are entirely made-up. White lies are regarded as innocuous everyday lies people tell in order to be tactful or polite. Exaggerations are things embellished or made to be more than they really are. They involve the enhancement of the truth by adding falsehood to it to make it more impressive.
Rumour-mongering is spreading false information about someone you don’t like or about something you don’t even know for sure. A bold-faced lie is saying something that is false even when you know the person you are telling this knows it is a lie. Plagiarism is when the words of someone else is stolen and presented as yours.
God of truth
However, with God, a lie is a lie is a lie. It is anything devoid of the truth or whatever distorts the truth. Even when a lie is told to a man, it is nevertheless a sin against God.
Telling lies is also a posture. The bible talks of people who “walk in lies.” God says: “I have seen a horrible thing in the prophets of Jerusalem: they commit adultery and walk in lies; they also strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns back from his wickedness. All of them are like Sodom to me, and her inhabitants like Gomorrah.” (Jeremiah 23:14).
Some people tell lies occasionally. But those who walk in lies tell lies habitually and compulsively. They live under false pretenses. The converse is also true, according to scripture.
John says: “I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” (3 John 1:3-4). Walking in the truth means living according to the commandments of Jesus.
Truth in the scriptures is not abstract but real and tangible. Truth in the bible is a person with a personality. Truth in the bible is Jesus Christ. Jesus says: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6). Jesus Christ is truth personified. Only Jesus, who came down from the bosom of God in heaven, faithfully declares God. He says: “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9). Therefore, he is the logos; the only true expression of God on earth.
Similarly, the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of Jesus) is the Spirit of truth. He guides into all truth. (John 16:13). Because Jesus is truth personified, the greatest liar is that person who does not believe in Jesus: “Who is the greatest liar? The one who says that Jesus is not Christ. Such a person is antichrist, for he does not believe in God the Father and in his Son.” (1 John 2:22). Those who don’t believe in Jesus believe lies.
Lying is an indelible part of the “old man.” It is natural to Adamic man. Accordingly, Abraham was a liar. Isaac, his son, was also a liar. So also was Jacob; Abraham’s grandson. A man who has not received the Spirit of Truth cannot but tell lies.
The psalmist says: “The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.” (Psalm 58:3). Therefore, it is necessary for us to repent and be converted, so that we can receive the truth, and with it newness of life.
Thus, Paul enjoins new creatures in Christ Jesus: “Don’t tell lies to each other; it was your old life with all its wickedness that did that sort of thing; now it is dead and gone. You are living a brand new kind of life that is continually learning more and more of what is right, and trying constantly to be more and more like Christ who created this new life within you.” (Colossians 3:9-10).
God hates liars
Since God is truth, the man who is the righteousness of God in Christ naturally hates lies. Solomon says: “A good man hates lies; wicked men lie constantly and come to shame.” (Proverbs 13:5). God says: “He who works deceit shall not dwell within my house; he who tells lies shall not continue in my presence. (Psalm 101:7).
Of the seven things God hates, three pertain to telling lies: “There are six things the Lord hates- no, seven: haughtiness, lying, murdering, plotting evil, eagerness to do wrong, a false witness, sowing discord among brothers.” (Proverbs 6:16).
The psalmist says to God: “You shall destroy those who speak falsehood; the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man. (Psalm 5:6). The word of God affirms this: “A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who speaks lies shall perish.” (Proverbs 19:9). It says: “All liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8).
Lying is demonic.
Jesus told some Jews: “You are the children of your father the devil and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning and a hater of truth- there is not an iota of truth in him. When he lies, it is perfectly normal; for he is the father of liars. And so when I tell the truth, you just naturally don’t believe it!” (John 8:44-45).
Jesus presents here a stark definition of two kinds of man. The one is of the truth and the other is of the lie. The one is of God and the other is of the devil. The one who is of the truth is able to hear to the word of truth; the gospel of salvation. But the other who is of the lie cannot. The world says opposites attract. But the word of God says like attracts.
Jesus says those attracted to the gospel are those who are of God. Jesus himself is like a magnet. His people are drawn to him and they welcome his revelation. Although his light rebukes their sin, they nevertheless respond to it in repentance and faith. They live by its truth.
Those who are not of God reject the gospel. They prefer the lie to the truth. They believe the lie and reject the truth. Jesus asks: “Which of you convicts me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe me?” (John 8:46).
Therefore, the problem is not in what Jesus says. The problem is in unbelievers. The problem is that they are not of the truth. The problem is that they are not of God. For God is a God of truth.
Therefore, Jesus sent Isaiah to them, saying: “Go, and tell this people: ‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and return and be healed.” (Isaiah 6:9-10).