Harmless Little Lies - Guest Post by Stacy Moody

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


  Lately I have been stalked by a sinister presence.  Lying has confronted me wearing many faces, including my own.  Were these earth-shattering, jaw-dropping lies?  No. They were so-called “harmless” lies.  They were lies to answer “Why I am running late”, “What this person really said to that person”, and “ Who spilled the hot chocolate on the carpet?”  They don’t concern state secrets or life and death situations.  Or do they?  According to James 3 the tongue can set your whole life on fire for it is set on fire by hell itself.

            It certainly set Jacob’s whole life on fire.  Beginning with Genesis 27 we see how deception altered the course of his life at least three times.  First, Jacob pretended to be Esau in order to receive their father’s blessing.  This led to a self-imposed banishment as he ran for his life.  Jacob then received a dose of his own medicine when the elder sister, Leah, was passed off as his beloved Rachel and he found himself with two wives.  The final time Jacob was deceived by his sons concerning the supposed death of Joseph, his favorite son.  In each instance the liar received immediate benefits, but the consequences were severe.  Jacob received the blessing, but Isaac and Rebekah lost Jacob for years, and Esau continued to cause them grief.  Laban was able to marry off his unmarriageable daughter, but neither daughter nor Jacob was happy about the arrangement.  Jacob’s sons were relieved of their pesky brother, but Jacob was cast into deep mourning. 

            The lies in this story all correspond to reasons we lie today.  Jacob lied to get what he wanted.  Maybe you have lied about your qualifications in order to land a job.  Laban lied in order to get rid of something he didn’t want.  Maybe you lied about a car you were selling, overstating its good points and neglecting to mention that the odometer has been reset.  Joseph’s brothers lied in an act of self-preservation.  They had sold their brother on a whim and now had to concoct a story to save themselves.  Maybe you have been stealing from your employer, and now you are scrambling to cover your tracks.

            Does God just wink at this behavior, saying, “What’s a little lie?”  If we are serious about being imitators of Christ, we need to admit that lying is not part of God’s character.  Titus 2:1 tells us that God does not lie, and according to Hebrews 6:18, it is impossible for God to lie.  The following verses teach that lying belongs to the sinful nature which was crucified when we chose to follow Christ.

            “Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.  Put on your new nature, created to be like God-truly righteous and holy.  So stop telling lies.”  Ephesians 4:23-25a  (NLT)

            “Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds.  Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like Him.”  Colossians 3:9,10  (NLT)

            So what can we do to break this habit of lying?  First, be slow to speak.  So many of our “little” lies are spoken before we even think about what we are saying.  “Sorry I’m late, but I was stuck behind a tractor and couldn’t pass.”  Well, yes, but if you think about it and speak honestly, you are late because you stopped to check Facebook before leaving the house.  Second, Scripture teaches that we should confess our sins to each other, James 5:16, and be reconciled with those we have wronged.  This was embodied at our house recently when a small daughter returned home from a sleepover in possession of some items she said someone had left at a park.  She later came to me and sobbed out the truth of the matter-she had helped herself to what she wanted.  She bravely returned the items and was fully and freely forgiven.  When we have lied to someone, we should make full confession and do what we can to make things right.  Several instances of confessing to those we have wronged should give us pause before we choose dishonesty.

            On a personal level, the Spirit has been combating this sin in my life in various ways.  For one, I am watching my words more closely.  I sometimes have to retract careless words and say, “No, that’s not right.  I am exaggerating.”  Most importantly, the ugly nature of this sin becomes more evident as I pursue the heart of God and am “renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like Him.”  

Stacy Moody is a stay-at-home, home-schooling mother who lives in southwest Missouri.  She and her husband Daniel have eight children and one daughter-in-law.  Stacy and Daniel ran the youth group at my church when I was in high school and have both been instrumental in my walk with the Lord.

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2 Responses to Harmless Little Lies - Guest Post by Stacy Moody

  1. Stacy, thanks for posting! You are a woman of many talents! Great reminder to watch our words and only speak the truth.

  2. Great post! Always have loved to hear your perspective on things.


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