Liar Liar

Liar Liar

*Lying seems to be a way of life for many people. We lie at the drop of a hat. The book, The Day American Told the Truth, says that 91 percent of those surveyed lie routinely about matters they consider trivial, and 36 percent lie about important matters; 86 percent lie regularly to parents, 75 percent to friends, 73 percent to siblings, and 69 percent to spouses.

*Our Daily Bread

**The three most commonly told lies.

1. “Gee, you haven’t changed a bit”

2. “I never got the message”

3. “I put that check in the mail to you yesterday.”

**Bruce Keidan in Philadelphia Inquirer

We often find ourselves engaged in conversation that is spoken in code. The words we use are not reflective of the intent of our thinking – but in polite company we avoid ‘brutal honesty’.

I have never thought of this style of speech as being dishonest – but perhaps it is. Reminds me of the Jim Carrey movie, “Liar Liar“.

From the simple, “Howzit going?” to the response, “I’m going well, thanks”, both the question and answer are disingenuous. We probably aren’t concerned with the other’s welfare, nor is the answer likely a true reflection of how one is feeling. We might have been having a terrible day but the response camouflages what’s really going on.

And when our wives ask us, “Does this dress make me look fat?” You know you’re in for a world of hurt if you don’t give the right – but not necessarily correct answer.

I suppose that we excuse this kind of code-speech. Some is merely polite custom and some is intended to protect the sensitivities of others. But at other times, disingenuous speech can reflect cowardice.

Please let me explain. For example, when you are told an off-colour joke, do you nervously giggle and respond with, “That’s a good one.”? Well, perhaps you don’t comment at all, but silence can sometimes be as bad as a lie.

Or do you think to yourself, now here’s an opportunity to express my displeasure with, “You know, I realise that was just a joke and you didn’t mean to offend me, but I don’t find those kind of jokes to be funny. I’m a Christian, and would appreciate it if you would refrain from this kind of humour with me. ” This take a lot of courage but this kind of response just might open doors then, or at a latter time, to give a witness to Jesus in your life.

It’s only a matter of degrees from the first kind of so called “white lie”, to full-fledged dishonesty.

What does the Bible say about lying?

Colossians 3:10-9“Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”

Proverbs 14:5 “A faithful witness does not lie,but a false witness breathes out lies.”

A lying tongue is not only something God hates, it is also something that is an abomination to Him.

Prov 6:16-19

There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that make haste to run to evil,
a false witness who breathes out lies,
and one who sows discord among brothers.

“None of us likes being lied to. None of us likes being falsely accused of lying. The reason is because truth is primarily a self-regarding virtue. In other words, it is in our own best self-interest to see things as either being true or untrue. If we wish to walk carefully through life, to do so we must be able to calculate our true position. When you lie to me, you know your position but you have given me false data which obscures mine. When I lie to you, I create a situation in which you have a false view of reality and you may lose your way.” (Jonathan Wallace, Lying, The Ethical Spectacle, May 2000)

Jesus always kept His Word. God still keeps His Word and is faithful to keep every promise He makes in the Bible. That is why He is reliable and we can trust Him. We are called to be like Him.


  1. jeff

    The initial study cited seems funny to me. What percentage of self-professed liars tells the truth to people who take surveys?!

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