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Sunday, August 21, 2011

8/21/11 Noses Grow and Pants Catch Fire

Ninth Commandment: Do Not Lie

9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices (Colossians 3:9)

8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

(Pinocchio's nose- grew when he lied)

Thoughts:  Would that we could find a way to tell if someone was telling the truth.  "Liar, Liar , Pants on Fire" is a childrens saying (possibly referring to stomach upset when one lies).  Pinocchio's nose grew when he lied.  The CIA tried to find a universal truth serum but they could not fine a foolproof drug.  David J. Lieverman wrote a book "Never Be Lied To Again" about detection through asking questions the right way and noting expressions and movements. However, God never can be deceived (think Ananias and Saphira).  He sees all, including our motivations.  Yet He continually asks us to strive for truth.
    In our culture, as part of our falling away from God and morality, we tend to make fun of those who try to tell the truth all the time.  Thus the tongue in cheek "Liar, Liar."  Or the Geico commercial about Honest Abe being asked, :Does this dress make me look fat?"  Cornell University has identified a new kind of lie- "The Butler Lie" in which someone texts (or emails) someone else and says, "I've got to go the waiter is here" (when they may not even be at a restaurant).
     Lying is wrong in that it destroys trust.  Aristotle said there cannot be a universal rule about lying, because you cannot trust a liar.  Thus when the Cretan Epimenides says, "All Cretan are Liars" (and he himself is a Cretan) he cannot be trusted.  [much of the above from wikipedia- thoughtful article]
    Lying also perverts and destroys communication and love.  We are designed by God to love one another, and we bring dstrust into that relationship when we lie and are dishonest.  We are meant to speak honestly and openly.  We are affronted when someone "lies through their teeth" or "tells a bald face lie" lying to us face to face.
   In the end we are called to tell the truth because God tells the truth.  Numbers 23:19 says, "God is not a man that he should lie, nor the son of man that he should repent.  Has he said and shall he not do it?"  In contrast to that is Satan who is called by Jesus "the Father of lies."  God created reality- and seeks to sustain reality.  Evil and untruth is a delusion, perversion of reality.  We wish that noses would grow and pants would catch fire because we want to be able to tell what is true or not.  Truth matters, and we should be on the side of truth- which is the side of God.

Prayer: May I be kind and loving enough, Lord, to tell the truth even when it hurts.

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