Friday, May 28, 2010

The Greatest Story, I mean "Lie," no, I mean "Story," Ever Told

I'm a Texan by birth, and everyone knows that Texans enjoy nothing more than a good lie story. Many take great pride in their ability to yarn. Must be something in the water, or the air. Too many cattle, perhaps.

Two riverboat captains who got into a shouting match around the campfire one night about who was the better liar. One of their crew suggested a contest to find out who could tell the best lie. Wagers were made and the captains took a moment to gather their thoughts. The first captain stood up in the light of the campfire and spun his story of that summer the Old Muddy ran so low and dry that they used their paddle-wheel steamboat to plow and furrow the once soggy bottom. They turned miles of the rich riverbed into farmland. The soil was so rich that instead of waiting weeks, the first crop came in mere days in the heat of the summer sun. As they began to harvest the corn by backing their paddle-wheel downstream through the fields, the summer sun beat down so hard that all the corn started to pop. The popping corn filled the sky so much that it blocked out the sun and winter set in and they had to shovel their way out of the snow, which subsequently melted and got the river flowing again.

Everyone around the fire hee-ed and haw-ed, slapping knees, holding their sides, laughing uproarously. Everyone that is, except for the other captain. The proud crew slapped their captain on the back with cheers of congratulations while he stood with a grim smile, arms crossed, staring at his rival across the fire. The other captain, still seated, dropped his head down on his chest and stared at his feet.

All fell silent, save for the crackling of the fire and the locusts in the trees.

The second captain looked up, and everyone leaned forward, straining to hear. His mouth opened, he took a deep sigh and said, "I believe every word of it."

As far as this Texan is concerned, that may be the greatest lie . . . or it may be a close second.

Lying is fun. This is what makes magic work. Lying is what drives the enterainment industry. But closer to home, when talking with people about lying, I often hear this: "Sometimes we lie because it may be better than telling the truth." I brace myself here because I know what is coming. "What if your wife comes to you and says [and the speaker turns sideways, elevating a hip], 'Honey, does this make me look fat?'" It's weird, but it’s like everyone went to the meeting and agreed this would be the response.

The speaker usually shrugs and looks at me like this has got to be the greatest problem ever on the face of the planet ever across all time--ever. "What I am going to say? 'Sure, Sweetie, it makes you look fat?'" And then they rationalize how the lie is beneficial to the cause. To prove my point (and other videos will follow later, so remember I told you people will say this):

Here is my response:

Rationalizing lying does not solve the problem of lying. The response to “does this make me look fat?“ is primed for a false answer. Here’s what I mean: “does this make me look fat?” is not the same as, “am I fat“ or “have I gained weight?” The question is, “do the clothes I am wearing give the appearance that I am fatter than I may really be?” Guys, you have no reason to lie because the answer is about the clothes, not your sweetie.

Ladies, if after you get dressed and you feel the need to ask, just stay in the room, change clothes and don't put your husband in such an awkward position to decide if he has to lie or not. And don’t put yourself in the position of living in a lie. If, after you change and all your clothes give the appearance that you look fat, then it may be time to ask the other question. If the truth is uncomfortable, then do something about it. Don’t take it out on your man -- besides wouldn’t you be upset if he intentionally lied about anything else? Where does trust end and begin?

Truth hurts. If your man tells you the truth, you should thank him because he is honoring God by telling the truth. If your man tells you the truth, find something else to wear, or get busy so you don't have to ask that question and put either of you in an awkward position.

Why make such a big deal of this? Because a lie, regardless of the reason, is a lie. People who tell lies are liars. God is all about truth.

Listen to truth, as found in God’s Word:

Exodus 20:16, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

Proverbs 6:16-19, “There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.”

Proverbs 14:25, “A truthful witness saves lives, but one who breathes out lies is deceitful.”

Proverbs 19:9, “A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will perish.”

Revelation 21:8, “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death."

Breaking God’s moral commands is what sends people to hell. God does not punish people because He is mean or vindictive, but because man rebels against God. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Way, the TRUTH and the Life--the only way we can enjoy God forever is by admitting our sin (that we are liars) and asking God to save us from the penalty of sin (hell) so we can live in truth. We no longer have to lie for any reason, but tell the truth in love, like I am doing now.

Don’t die in your sins. Repent and embrace the truth of God’s love.

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