This morning I picked up my little book of “sentence sermons” and opened it up. As I skimmed through its pages this short sentence popped out at me.
“A great talker is a great liar.”
Hebrews 4: 12 says, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Even though it isn’t scripture, this little quote had a piercing effect as I contemplated its meaning and truth. Does the person who talks a lot tend to exaggerate a lot? More to the point, when I get to talking freely, am I always honest in the things I say and the stories I tell?
What about a deliberate attempt to “fudge” or “whitewash” with explanations and excuses? I have to confess, I’ve done that. At times when I didn’t want something I did to seem so bad or so wrong, I’ve yielded to that temptation – and later had to repent of my dishonesty.
Have you ever met someone who tells what’s most convenient at the moment, and has done it for so long that they’ve lost track of what is the truth? They’ve acquitted themselves so often by explaining – “what looked black was only gray and gray is pretty close to white” – that any more they can’t tell the difference between the three. They’ll say whatever they think you want to hear.
One morning we had a discussion in the Youth girls’ Sunday school class about whether exaggeration for the sake of humor is just innocent fun, or really a lie. We pondered how God in His holiness looks at all this?
For example, someone told me one day, “It’s been so dry in Saskatchewan lately; we have frogs two years old that haven’t learned to swim yet.” Funny, but not true. However, it wasn’t in any way meant to be deceiving.
Or like, “I’m so starved I could eat three Burly Burgers!” Could you really? Or even the ubiquitous, “I didn’t sleep a wink last night.” A person may toss and turn, or wake up often, but few people can say in all honesty they didn’t sleep at all.
The truth is our compass; it will guide us through life and into Heaven, so we dare not lose track of it. God is truth and there’s no way we can walk with Him if we don’t walk in truth.
Revelations 21:8 says that all liars will find their place in the lake of fire, along with murderers, adulterers, etc. That’s serious stuff! Christ died for our sins, but we can’t continue in sin and stay in sync with Him.
“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” II Timothy 2:19
So how much liberty can Christians take with the truth? We don’t want to be dull and boring, or legalistically weighing each sentence to see if it’s honest enough, but if we really love our Heavenly Father, we want to love what He loves and hate what He hates.
Psalm 19:14: “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”
We say “I just meant it as a joke” or “I was just being funny,” when there was actually a needle of criticism in what we said. Who are we kidding? The most horrible example of exaggeration I’ve heard was a mother scolding her child with, “Your father’s going to kill you when he finds out.” A cruel lie.
We excuse ourselves with “Well, I did exaggerate some, but everyone understood what I meant.” But what if we as Christians face the Judgement Bar and find out God has been counting these things as lies and now we have the stains of sin on our beautiful white robes?
These are some thoughts and questions that bounced through my head. Now what are your thoughts on the matter?
More quotes on the subject:
— Discretion of speech is better than fluency of speech.
— You can always tell a wise man by the smart things he does not say.
— If you think twice before you speak, you’ll speak twice better for it.