• Don't let the smiling face of that young cowboy fool you. That right there is a hardened criminal. (story of the stolen gas mask)
I wish I could say that was my last lie…
• Countless fabrications and exaggerations, a few deceptions, and half-truths … nothing devastating or dangerous…mostly fibs (such a cute word)
We use a lot of euphemisms to downplay the dreadfulness of lying: fibs, whoppers, exaggerations, misspeaking, spinning, fudging
And when we are caught in a lie we use guilt avoidance mechanisms: we used poor judgment, or mistakes were made.
Author Ralph Keyes claims we are living in the Post-Truth Era.
It's now as acceptable to lie as it is to exceed the speed limit when driving. Nobody thinks twice about it. Philip Hodson, Psychologist
It is a creeping assumption in this era that there are things more important than truth. Jeremy Campbell, The Liars Tale
Lying has become essentially, a no-fault transgression. There's a widespread acceptance of the fact that lies can be told with impunity. Ralph Keyes
But we know this is not true Lies can be catastrophic.
Lies are the death of relationships
Lies are the death of community
Lies are the death of self-worth
Lies speak death.
During this past month at Grace we have focused out attention on the importance of crucial life-giving conversations. We’ve examined how we can better Speak Life to one another.
Here’s a quick recap…
Week 1 - What you communicate and how you communicate it is crucial to the way the people around you view Jesus. Your words and how you use them are a window to your heart. Amy Christie
Week 2 - “Language is like a loaded gun… it can be fired intentionally, but it can wound or kill just as surely when fired accidentally.” - Dwight Bolinger
Week 3 - It’s far better to be silent than it is to speak quickly and have to live with the consequences. We must be careful to say all things in ways that don’t condescend, ridicule, shame or enflame. Tim Ayers
This week I want wrap up this series by looking uncomfortably at the conversation cancer of lying.
The writer of Proverbs 12:22 did not mince words:
The Lord detests lying lips,
but he delights in those who tell the truth. Proverbs 12:22
It’s a pretty intense word…detests…it means disgust…lies to God are an abomination.
Lying destroys relationships or lying blows up community– you won’t just destroy conversation but relationship
So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. Ephesians 4:25
Implication: truth holds bodies together
Every human community…marriages, families, communities, teams, groups, churches, nations are held together by trust and honesty.
Lies breed, in relationships, distrust, disloyalty and dissolution.
• Lying blows up communities
• Lies are an abomination
Lying destroys reputations – when found out you become less believable
Perhaps this is what Jesus was implying in the sermon on the mount…
“You have also heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you make to the Lord.’ But I say, do not make any vows! Do not say, ‘By heaven!’ because heaven is God’s throne. And do not say, ‘By the earth!’ because the earth is his footstool. And do not say, ‘By Jerusalem!’ for Jerusalem is the city of the great King. Do not even say, ‘By my head!’ for you can’t turn one hair white or black. Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one. Matthew 5:37
Boastful lying exaggerations come back to bite us when we can’t fulfill them.
Take for example…oh hi! I’ve missed you, let’s do lunch! And then ghosted.
• Promises unkept are lies that kill reputations
Lying crushes self-worth
People with integrity walk safely,
but those who follow crooked paths will be exposed. Proverbs 10:9
When you lie you walk on the razors edge. Lies are effective in creating a false image of you…but when you are exposed…the whole of who you are can be crushed leaving you with a crushed self-image.
So…as dangerous and disgusting as lying can be why do we do it?
• Lies are a powerful and effective way to win conversations, contracts, elections, jobs, awards, grades, diplomas, influence – lies work!
• Lies are a way to improve self-esteem. To make yourself look better, more acceptable, less insecure,
o Lies forestall our pain, emptiness, and shame.
o Lies make us into who we want to be.
Note: Low self-worth is the psychological epidemic no one is talking about. Waaay too many people are walking around with crushed spirits, flagging self-respect and zero self-confidence.
No wonder lying is as widespread as it is…lying is an act of desperation…so we walk this razor thin line … for when we are exposed…the whole house of cards come down.
Are there solutions? What is the path of integrity?
All 4 weeks of this series have been heart gripping and remorse inducing.
• I saw myself…heard myself in every message
• I wanted to change…to live with integrity and be able to speak life! I’m sure you do too.
Here’s what we all know we have to do:
2. Seek accountability
4. Set some goals
Those are all good…but may I suggest something deeper and more life transforming…
IL – Penny and I attaching deeply to one another and becoming mind-to-mind.
The phenomena of right brained transformation.
“The left brain runs at the speed of words; the right brain runs at the speed of joy” Jim Wilder, Neurotheologian
o The left brain is where we think. The right brain is where we attach.
o The left brain where we make strategies to change. The right brain is where we are changed without even thinking about it.
o When we attach we actually begin to experience mind to mind connection.
The same can happen with you and Jesus.
The more you encounter Jesus the more you share his mind the more you walk with integrity the more you speak life.
Practice encountering Jesus.
Encounter Jesus. Share his mind. Grow in integrity. Speak life.