Lying: Spiritual Smoke Detector

       What’s on my mind, asks Facebook? Honestly? Honesty. This morning I heard the radio devotional by Ron Hutchcraft, A Word With You. I had listened to his daily radio devotionals for years when we lived in Alabama from 1992 on, when I became born anew. Here’s what he said……
       “Years ago, I asked God to install a spiritual smoke detector in my heart – one that would actually go off inside me whenever I was saying something that was less than the truth. I think we all need an inner alarm like that, because lies do so much damage if you don’t put them out right away.
We tend to think of lying maybe as a “lesser” sin. God doesn’t. No, listen to what He says in Proverbs 6, beginning with verse 16. It’s our word for today from the Word of God. “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to Him.” What follows is God’s hate list. Only one sin is mentioned twice in His hate list: “a lying tongue” and “a false witness that pours out lies.” See, that lie you tell? That’s serious business. You’re messing with something God detests.
     When you lie, you violate the Ninth Commandment of God’s sacred law. When you lie, you become an ally of the devil because Jesus told us the devil is “the father of lies” (John 8:44). When you lie, you start a series of events that usually means more lies to cover up the lie and it ultimately means damage to relationships, reputations, respect, and most certainly, your relationship with the God who hates lying.
     We even tend to lie to ourselves about the fact that we are lying! We’re just “exaggerating” or it’s only a “white lie,” whatever that is. But in God’s book, you’re lying whenever you’re intending to deceive someone or mislead them. That’s why we need to ask God for that inner alarm that reminds us that we’re saying something, or we’re about to say something, that is less than what God knows to be true.
     Lying is so common that we can do it with little guilt or remorse. We lie to get ahead, we lie to get our way, we lie to get even, we lie to get out of a jam. The reason doesn’t matter. God hates it. And He clearly commands: “Each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor” (Ephesians 4:25).
     Deceiving, lying, distorting the truth – it starts a spiritual fire that can do so much damage and actually end up consuming you. But inside you lives the Holy Spirit of Almighty God who Jesus called “the Spirit of truth” (John 15:26), and He is your inner alarm system to let you know when you’ve crossed from what’s real into what’s false. Ask Him to ring it loud when you’re about to let something less than the truth cross your lips. We’ve become desensitized to lying. We need God Himself to awaken our calloused conscience and defy our rationalizations, and not let us get away with anything less than the truth.  Telling the truth may hurt. But it can never do as much damage as not telling the truth, because our God hates lying.”
     After God renewed my life in 1992, truth telling became something very important to me. I think God installed one of those “spiritual smoke detectors” in my heart when he circumcised it that December weekend.
     His words reminded me of some women who had relapsed and the common denominator, from my observation, was a lack of honesty and accountability with others in their supportive community. They let secrets and little deceptions slip back into their lives…. they failed to keep the truth at the forefront of their values. Honesty is THE first priority commitment in recovery. To ourselves, to God, to one another. Without that, nothing else is possible. Without honesty, one is still living in denial of the truth.
     As God would have it, it appears that I was pondering the same issue of honesty a year ago, as I had posted this devotional from an Emmaus friend on my page that day…… Clearly, it is a recurring theme.
Ephesians 4:25
“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.”
What about those little white lies we are tempted to tell when put on the spot by a friend asking how we like her new hair style that we think is awful. Is it permissible to tell a little white lie in order to avoid hurting the friend’s feelings? I heard a Christian speaker address this in this manner: The first time I was confronted with this dilemma, I had just become familiar with this verse from Ephesians. I didn’t know what to say, so I prayed. Imagine my surprise to hear myself saying, ‘I’m pleased that you are happy and excited about it. Enjoy it!.´ We do not know how to respond to such questions honestly and kindly. The Holy Spirit does! So, pray, and let Him speak through you. You will be a blessing and also blessed yourself.
Joyfully His,
Judy Klug