This is a challenging question.
When the preacher was talking about ‘Grief’, I started listing the many forms of grief and they fell into 2 categories. 1, The internal expression which is the one we feel in our heart and 2, the one we show the world, and this is the one that set me thinking about how we often display what is not the truth. Do we put on an image for the outside world so that we reflect something that is not true? What about when we say things that are not true, like the Easter bunny, Santa Clause, the Tooth fairy or what if our child comes up to us and says, “Mummy (or Daddy) the kids are calling me fat (or ugly, or a cry baby, or whatever is upsetting our child), what do we say back? Do we agree with the kids or do we come up with something else?
What if our partner picks something that they like but we don’t, and they say, “Do you like this?” Many of the men would say yes and I have to hand it to the women, most of them would say what they felt and find something that they think is better. When we are feeling down in the dumps and someone says, “Hi! how are you?” How many of us say, “I’m fine.” or when we compliment someone about something just to be nice?
The Concise Oxford Dictionary tells us: - “lie - n. intentional false statement”. Having said that don’t we also say, “actions speak louder than words”? and, remembering that all forms of dishonesty constitute a lie.
God tells us, in Exodus 20:15-16 - “15. You must not steal… 16. You must not testify falsely against your neighbour.”
Psalm 119:163, God says - “I hate and abhor all falsehood, ….”;
Proverbs 6:16-19 - “16. There are six things the Lord hates - no, seven things He detests: 17. haughty eyes, a lying tongue….18. a heart that plots evil, …19. a false witness that pours out lies...”;
Proverbs 11:20, God says; “The Lord detests people with crooked hearts, but He delights in those with integrity” and
Proverbs 12:22 He says, “The Lord detests lying lips, but He delights in those who tell the truth”.
Ephesians 4:25 He says; “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
So about now, we start to think, “What hope do I have?” BUT do not feel dejected, rejected or downcast. There is hope because we have God’s word. His word is a promise, a guarantee, a sure thing. In the Old Testament He tells us in, Jeremiah 31:31 - “The day is coming”, says the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah.”; and
in John 3:16-17 - “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17.God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world but to save the world through Him”;
We are reassured when one of Jesus’ disciples reminds us of God’s promise to send Jesus when he says in Hebrews 8:7-9 & 12-13 - “7. If the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need for a second covenant to replace it, 8. But when God found fault with the people, he said: “The time is coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. 9. This covenant will not be like the one I made with their ancestors …...12. For I will forgive their wickedness and will never again remember their sins. 13. When God speaks of a ‘new’ covenant, it means he has made the first one obsolete. It is now out of date and will soon disappear.”;
In Hebrews 9:14 God tells us - “Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins.”; and to make it so simple for us to go home to the Father, He said in Ephesians 2:8-9 - “God saved us by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God, 9. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it”.
Without Christ we would never be able to enter heaven because of our human state. We repeat Jesus’ command to us in Matthew 22:37-39. - “…... You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. 38. This is the first and greatest commandment. 39. A second is equally important: Love your neighbour as yourself.”
So, this is the dilemma many people face; do we tell the truth and hurt people? Is that loving them? or do we say we are loving them and don’t want to hurt or offend them, so we tell a ‘white lie’?
I thank the Lord for His forgiveness and His guarantees.
I’m going to read, John 3:16-17; Ephesians 2:8-9; Hebrews 8:12; and Hebrews 9:14; again.
God bless you all