What is the most popular sin? Well, I’m sure if you asked several different people you would get several different answers. The most popular sin among the people I have known over the years is lying. It seems so easy for people to lie. Sometimes it seems like some people lie just to be lying.
A few years ago I was talking to a friend from my school days. As old friends often do when they get together, we were talking about the good old days. He asked the famous question, “Remember When….?” Yeah, I remembered alright. I remembered what a big lie I had told that time. We talked a while longer, then another question came up and I remembered another lie.
It was no secret that I hadn’t always been honest when I was younger, but as we talked about all the fun times from our youth and all the crazy things we had done, I found myself confessing to several lies that he didn’t know about. He had given me the nick-name Fred when we were in elementary school. As we talked he just comely said, “Fred, you were just a big ole liar. Weren’t you? Yes, I was. It was kind of a shock to me too, because I guess I had tried to forget the bad things I had done in my early years.
I apologized to my friend, but I still felt so bad. Those memories of who I once was made me ashamed. I tried to think about others I might have lied to and I remembered several, including my grandmother who had sacrificed so much for me and my sisters. That made me feel even worse because she died a long time ago and I can’t apologize to her. I grew up in church and was even baptized when I was twelve years old, but I was an adult before I truly started following Jesus.
I was always told “you shouldn’t tell stories” and “You shouldn’t fib”, but I didn’t really understand the full impact lying has on people, the victims, and the liar as well, until I got to know Jesus.
I had always heard adults talk about telling “Little White Lies” and had seen it on TV, and their situations always seemed to work out fine. Well, it turns out that we have all been lied to about that as well. That’s the lie that Satan tells us. “It’s just a little white lie.”
In the Bible, there are several accounts of people who lied. Some people say those stories prove that lying is not as bad as some make it out to be and that lying is okay in certain circumstances. Well, a careful examination of these stories reveals something interesting. Most of the people who lied in the Bible were not even trying to follow God at the time and almost all of them lied for selfish reasons.
1. The serpent lied in the garden so Adam and Eve would doubt God and disobey him (Genesis 2).
2. Sarah lied saying, “I did not laugh”; because she was afraid (Genesis 18:12).
3. Isaac lied saying Rebekah was his sister because he was afraid the Philistines would kill him and take her if they knew she was his wife (Genesis 26:6-9).
4. Jacob lied to Isaac to receive the birth-right blessing that belonged to his brother (Genesis 27).
5. Laban lied to Jacob when he married Rachel. He gave him Leah instead (Genesis 29).
6. Rachael lied to Laban to keep from being killed for stealing his idols (Genesis 31).
7. Jacob’s sons lied to him after selling their brother Joseph because of jealousy (Genesis 37).
8. Potiphar’s wife lied to him when Joseph refused her sexual advances (Genesis 39).
9. Rahab lied to the men of Jericho to save herself and her family (Joshua 2).
10. Saul lied to David because he wanted him dead (1 Samuel 18).
11. Michael lied to Saul’s men to protect her husband David. Then she lied to her father Saul to protect herself (1 Samuel 19).
12. Ananias and Sapphira lied to Peter and the Holy Spirit because they were selfish (Acts 5).
I left out the story where Abraham said Sarah was his sister and she said he was her brother because that was the truth. They had the same father but different mothers. It was deceptive though because it was not the whole truth, and it was for a selfish reason. Abraham was afraid he would be killed and his wife taken because she was so beautiful (Genesis 20).
So you see, there are no examples in the Bible where God told anyone to lie. God never said it was okay to lie. He says right the opposite. The ninth commandment, which is found in Exodus 20:16 says, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”
Some have suggested this verse is only talking about lying about your neighbor. Well, Jesus said your neighbor is anyone you come in contact with (Luke 10:29-37). Some have even said it only applies in a court of law. Well, for those scoffers I offer you Proverbs 6:16-19. It says that God hates a lying tongue, and a FALSE WITNESS who speaks lies. The ninth commandment means “DON’T LIE, period.
Revelation 21:8 says, ALL liars will burn in hell fire. How is it that so many find it so easy to lie without blinking an eye? Maybe we have forgotten what lying is. Dictionary.com says, “lying is saying something that is false or untrue.”
If it’s not true it’s a lie. If we lie, we are liars. If we are liars, we are in serious danger of hell fire, unless we stop lying and ask God for forgiveness. A LIE IS A LIE and there’s no such thing as a LITTLE LIE or a WHITE LIE. Children need to be taught what a lie is and to avoid lying at all costs. Lying IS a sin. If you lie, God can help you stop. I know, because he did it for me.
© 2015 Teddy Lynn – All Rights Reserved
My book The Journey To Heaven is available in paperback and digital format on Amazon.com.