Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

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Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

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How many of you remember the phrase “Liar, liar, pants on fire; nose is long as a telephone wire”? I do! I often think of that phrase as I watch world events unfold. Does anyone tell the truth anymore? It seems we have an epidemic of lying.

Nighttime TV host Jimmy Kimmel compared NFL player Tom Brady and his lies in the deflategate scandal to Kylie Jenner and her admitted lie about her lips being natural. Trivial? Sure, but dishonesty is the common theme.

In a higher-profile situation, Brian Williams was suspended after it was found out that he had fabricated stories about his involvement covering the Iraq War.

The other day I saw a Time Warner commercial about a wife sitting across the table from her husband. Her husband is connected up to a lie detector machine. She needed to see if her husband was telling the truth about where he was the other night. Lying is so common that it's good for a mundane joke for cable commercials.

Not only do we witness lies on a daily basis from the media, politicians, celebrities and advertising, James Patterson and Peter Kim, authors of The Day America Told the Truth, found that a shocking 91 percent of Americans lie on a regular basis! In fact, they discovered that one in five Americans can’t get through a single day without lying. So according to them, we all can be guilty of lying.

I read a good blog titled "Eight Types of Lies that People Tell" on The Hope Line, an organization that helps people deal with issues like addictions and suicide. The blog lists eight ways people lie, included white lies, exaggeration and deception. Those are all too common types of dishonesty. I'll add a couple more that we should be careful about: gossip and flattery. Gossip often invovles lying because we share personal details without knowing the facts. In addition to often being deceitful, it's always harmful. And flattery is excessive, insincere praise. It's a type of lying often done out of a desire to get something from soneone else.

Among some other damaging results, lying does two things:

1. Lying causes us to lose trust in others. We all feel betrayed when we find out someone has lied to us, causing us to lose trust.

2. Lying leads to health risks because it raises the stress level. We worry that our lies will be found out, therefore producing stress.

No wonder God speaks out so strongly against lying. Proverbs lists seven things that God hates. Two of these are associated with deceit and dishonesty: “a lying tongue” and “a false witness who pours out lies” (Proverbs 6:17-19 Proverbs 6:17-19 [17] A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, [18] An heart that devises wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, [19] A false witness that speaks lies, and he that sows discord among brothers.
American King James Version×
, New International Version).

“A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will perish” (Proverbs 19:9 Proverbs 19:9A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaks lies shall perish.
American King James Version×
). If are we caught up in lies, God says that He will not dwell with us. “He who works deceit shall not dwell within my house. He who tells lies shall not continue in my presence” (Psalms 101:7 Psalms 101:7He that works deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that tells lies shall not tarry in my sight.
American King James Version×
).

“Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment. The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy” (Proverbs 12:19 Proverbs 12:19The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
American King James Version×
, Proverbs 12:22 Proverbs 12:22Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.
American King James Version×
).

Jesus describes Himself as “the way, and the truth, and the life." He says that "no one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6 John 14:6Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.
American King James Version×
). Truth is one of the words He uses to describe Himself. Because of Christ being so trustworthy, it's easy to follow Him in His way; certainly a contrast to how Satan is described as the “father of lies.”

Since we all can be guilty of lying in one way or another, we all can overcome it by asking God for help as King David did: “Deliver me, O Lord, from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue” (Psalms 120:2 Psalms 120:2Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue.
American King James Version×
). That is a start, because telling the truth starts with us.

Paul summed up our Christian responsibility well: “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another” (Ephesians 4:25 Ephesians 4:25Why putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another.
American King James Version×
).

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