Thursday, May 31, 2007

I have never seen anything good, result from telling a lie. I know it's a common practice. People do it everyday. They begin at an early age, and many never really stop.

We assign color to the word to mute it's sharp edge. We talk about them in terms of severity, implying that lesser ones are not as wrong.

I know each of my children have been faced with the decision to cover their tracks by shaping the story in such a way that it seemed as though nothing was wrong. One of them could not handle doing that even a little bit (not that the other two practiced it).

After having tried once, she was so convicted that the result was she began to confess everything she did that she knew she shouldn't have. It became a regular occurrence. A kind of soul cleansing for her. She wasn't just illuminating lies, she was baring each kind of sin.

Of course she was pretty young, so what was happening would have been measured as harmless by most. I appreciated the her attitude and tried to encourage her.

A few weeks ago, some college friends of mine were attending a local youth service. None of them belonged to this particular church, they just decided to go and check it out. It is a fairly reputable place.

The youth pastor's topic that evening was the same as mine. He was sharing with the youth of that body that lying is not always wrong. He led them through a couple of scriptures that seemed to prove his point.

I confess, I was very surprised when my friends returned and shared their news.

I know some have thought me naive in the past. I am sure many would still characterize me that way. However, to me this is just wrong.

In business, I have been in many situations that seemed to reflect that the only way out was to be untruthful. Otherwise, a price would be paid and it would be significant. I am far from perfect. I do not live a sinless life. But as painful as it was each time to confront the situation with truth, I was always amazed at how the Lord affirmed that the right choice had been made even if I had to pay a price.

This youth guy was teaching the students that their is a line in the sand that can be drawn and recognized. As long as motives are positive, it is likely the right thing to do.

As humans we learn to justify our actions with each new day. Some of us have gotten quite good at it...masters really. Where there once was a conscience there is now an "open mind." We become accepting of so many things, and can openly and easily justify the whys and

We each began doing this at a young age. Some reach points of doing it compulsively. Others do it when it is convenient for them.

The point is, sand shifts.

The line you draw today, you will not be able to find tomorrow.

Justification becomes the wind that shapes your line...or covers it up. It may seem firmly placed for now, but in truth, is elusive and changing. Especially when under pressure.

Young people who are struggling to discover who they are, and who God wants them to become, are fighting enough battles without being fed lines that seem to fit who they are in such a way that it extends acceptance for the practice of sin. Each time the threshold is approached there lies an undercurrent of justification that may help them step over. Crossing the line becomes progressively easier to do. Shifting happens.

His grace covers sin, but does not accept it as a practice.

Justification can teach us that lies are acceptable, even normal. Choosing to lie and believing it to be okay to practice will likely douse the Spirit of God in our lives. "Do not quench the Spirit!"



At 8:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For YEARS I was a compulsive liar. I lied about everything. I began to believe some of the lies that I told and even lied enough that I didn't know the truth about certain things. After becoming a Christian, I left lying in my "old self" and traded it for truth. It took nearly ten years for my family and friends to trust my word. Ten years or more. Now I wonder why I lived such lies and in such a sinful manner. It served very little purpose and only made me untrusting to those I loved. Now I pay the price for truth and realize the benefit of not falling into the LYING TRAP. I still catch myself once in a while, and I immediately correct myself with the truth. It is SO FREEING!! I thank God for convicting in me His truth and freeing me from the bondage of sin!! There is nothing worth lying about, period.

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