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TAMING THE TONGUE
Stretching the Truth A Little: Lying (1)
Victor M. Eskew
A. One of the saddest stories in the Bible involves a young prophet and an old prophet.
1. The heart of the story lies in these words: “But he lied unto him” (I Kings 13:18).
2. A young prophet had been commissioned by God to prophesy to Jeroboam (I Kings 13:1-3).
3. The young man was commanded by God, saying: “Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest” (I Kings 13:9).
4. The young prophet obeyed God until he was confronted by an older prophet (I Kings 13:18).
He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the Lord, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him.
5. This lie ultimately brought about the death of the young prophet (I King 13:23-24).
And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back. And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcass was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcass.
6. The sadness comes from several standpoints.
a. This was a young man dealing with an old man.
b. This was a young prophet dealing with an older prophet.
c. The older prophet lied saying: “…and angel spake unto me by the word of the Lord…”
B. Lying is an evil committed by the tongue.
C. There is no one who is immune from lying. Almost everyone will admit that he/she has lied in times past. Perhaps most will admit to having lied several times.
D. Let’s look at lying in this lesson centered around: “Taming the Tongue.”
I. WHAT IS A LIE?
A. A simple definition is: anything that opposes the truth.
B. A discussion of the definition of lying usually centers upon at least three things:
1. The information that is revealed
a. Information that violates truth
b. Incomplete truth
c. A mistake in facts
2. The intent of the person revealing the information
a. Two definitions of a lie:
1) A statement that the stating party believes to be false and that is made with the intent to deceive.
2) Something known to be false
b. Not all lies, however, are intentional.
1) They can be false statements, but the person telling the lie never intended to state a falsehood
2) There are lies, therefore, that could be said to be “unintentional lies.”
3. The knowledge of the person revealing the information
a. In the religious world individuals have not been given all the information on certain subjects. Their knowledge, therefore, is deficient.
b. We might classify these as “lies of ignorance.”
C. We could classify lies into three broad categories:
1. Intentional lies
2. Unintentional lies
3. Lies of ignorance
II. TYPES OF LIES
A. White lies
1. These lies are designed to be tactful or polite.
2. Example: Showing appreciation for a gift that is undesired or not needed.
B. Broken promises
1. Also known as rumors
2. Telling things that we are not certain are the truth.
D. Bold faced lies
1. Enhancing the truth by adding lies to it
2. We have all laughed at the words: a fish tale.
1. Lies that cause others to be misled.
2. Distortion of the facts or withholding of the facts.
3. Hypocrisy could fall into this category.
H. Compulsive lying
I. Spiritual lying
1. Saying that we have no sin (I John 1:10)
2. Saying that we know God, but do not keep His commandments (I John 2:4)
3. Denying that Jesus is the Christ (I John 2:22)
4. Saying we love God and hate our brethren (I John 4:20)
III. WHY DO PEOPLE LIE?
A. To avoid punishment (Cain, Gehazi).
B. To preserve a sense of autonomy
C. Aggression: to hurt others
D. To obtain a sense of power
E. To have the delight of putting one over on another (Samson)
F. Wish fulfillment: Telling a lie about what someone wished had happened (Hillary Clinton claimed that she was under sniper fire when she landed in Bosnia. NOTE: She may have wished the story was true).
G. Self-deception: The Bible often warns says: “Be not deceived…”
H. To manipulate the behavior of others
I. To help others: do not want to hurt their feelings
J. Accommodate another’s self-deception
K. Solution to role conflict: lie to clients or lie to one’s boss
L. Maintain self-esteem
M. Create a sense of identity
N. To get something: lying about a product to get a sale
IV. THE BIBLE FORBIDS LYING
A. Leviticus 19:11
Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.
B. Proverbs 12:22
Lying lips are abomination to the Lord: but they that deal truly are his delight.
C. Ephesians 4:25
Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another.
D. Colossians 3:9
Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds.
A. In our society, we have grown to expect certain people will lie to us.
B. There are Christians who do not hesitate to tell a lie if the lie will benefit them.
C. Next week, we will probe into lying in a little more detail. We will look specifically at the topic: “Why We Should Not Lie.”