We have all known since childhood that lying is inherently wrong, as we lie for a reason, and it is not to do good.
These six [things] doth the LORD hate: yea, seven [are] an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness [that] speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: (Proverbs: 6:16-20)
The above verse of Scripture alone should dissuade us from lying, as doing something God hates is to be avoided at all costs.
Whether we’re believers or not, when we lie we become bonded to sin, as one lie begets another, which begets another. The subject of adultery is the quintessential example of this immutable law of nature; e.g., when a person starts lying to cover-up an affair, he/she eventually has to tell more lies to cover their previous lies. So one lie turns into ten, which turns into a hundred. And soon the adulterer is in bondage to not only the sin of adultery, but to the sin of lying as well. Conversely, the Bible tells us in John 8:32, And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
What a wonderful example of the difference between good and evil, Satan and God. Satan seeks to enslave us, God seeks to set us free.
But this cursory and commonly known truth of lying is not why I am writing this article. I am doing so, as I want you to consider that lying is far worse than most people ever consider. It is, in a most real way, an attempt to dethrone God and take His place. Let me explain.
God, our Creator, gives all people the right of free will. If that were not the case we’d all be decent human beings on our way to heaven, but that’s not the case, as the Bible (sadly) says most of us will choose hell instead.
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7:13-14) We are born with the God-given right and ability to choose our own eternity. We can choose the straight path that leads to life, or the broad path that leads to death. That is the ultimate description of free will.
But when we lie, we are short-circuiting, and sometimes destroying, the free will of others.
Going back to adultery to make the point. If a man commits adultery, and denies his faithful wife the truth of his infidelity, he is playing God by taking her free will from her and replacing it with a deceptive manipulation that has at its core his selfish best interests as he sees them. If she knew the truth she might choose to leave the home children in-tow. She probably would, at the least, choose to stop having physical relations with her spouse if for no other reason than personal safety from disease. She might do a lot of things differently if she knew the truth that God says would set her free. But by lying, the selfish spouse supersedes and replaces the authority of God.
God is unyielding on the importance of truth and the abomination of lies, as we have no right to deny Him His rightful authority over His children, nor do we have the right to control others with falsehoods. Perhaps that is why the punishment for lying is so severe. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)
But it doesn’t have to end that way. There is a better answer if we’ll refrain from lying and revere the truth. Strangely enough, it is contained in the verse of Scripture directly preceding Revelation 21:8.
He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. (Revelation 21:7)
The simple but amazing truth is this: If we turn from our sins there will be no need to lie, and we will inherit the Kingdom.