Don’t lie about that!
David Bahn-Reflections Podcast
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. Colossians 3:1-11 [ESV]
We taught our children about telling the truth and used the children’s book, Jimmy and the White Lie. When his baseball goes through a neighbor’s window, Jimmy learns the importance of telling the truth, and the awful consequences of not doing so. The lie grows bigger and bigger because Jimmy has to make up more and more stories (lies) to support the first little lie that he had told.
I love to make the point that we are really lousy gods. We don’t do well trying to create a world that doesn’t exist. But that’s exactly what we try to do whenever we tell a lie. We try to create a world that doesn’t exist. And the only way we can sustain it is by adding words to it. Propping up one untruth after another with further untruths. Eventually all lies will crumble under their own weight. We just cannot sustain them forever.
Jesus put it this way, “There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed.” (Luke 8:17) Truth will always win out.
When God created the world, he did so by speaking. And when he spoke, light happened. Then came seas, sky, fish, land animals, flowers and trees. When it came to man, God created us in his own image. And he did that by forming us from the dust of the earth. Breathing into us the breath of life, we became living beings. That was true especially and specifically for Adam and Eve. It is also true for us. We are fearfully and wonderfully made by God, knit together in our mother’s wombs.
As creatures of God, and especially as his children, we are to reflect his character – even to the point of creating things. But we are not God, so we cannot do this by speaking. And certainly by speaking things that are untrue we are not reflecting God’s character. Jesus is the embodiment of truth. He is the way, the truth, and the life.
So when Paul says we are not to lie to one another, that is because we are dead to sin, and called to reflect God’s character. That certainly applies also to slander, and obscene talk.
Diane and I have grown weary of the latter on all too many TV shows and movies. Even BBC broadcasts throw obscene talk at us. And just recently I was made all too aware of how far down the path of vulgarity the music industry has gone. Bombs of too many letters to count are lobbed through our TV speakers. And don’t even get me started about the way the name of Jesus is used and abused. In fact, that is more commonly accepted by TV and entertainment executives than the other language bombs thrown our way.
Our language is a powerful tool to bless and heal, or to hurt and offend others. God’s calling is not just a matter of being polite, but a matter of giving witness to his character. How will you honor him today with your words? Don’t lie about that!