“Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? – Acts 5:3
Is telling a lie okay? Does God really understand when we tell a lie to get out of trouble? Is lying any less sinful than any sexual sin or murder? So, how could we pride ourselves as good Christians because we don’t fornicate or kill, but continue to lie?
It reminds me of the story of two children who got into an argument.
“A fib is the same as a story, and a story is the same as a lie,” Thomas said.
“No, it’s not!”
“Yes, it is. My father said so, and my father is an editor.”
“I don’t care if your father is an editor. My father is a real-estate man, and he knows more about lying than your father,” Nathan said emphatically.
The point is that we have made lying so acceptable that it has become a normal lifestyle. We lie to get what we want from each other, avoid losing a favor, get a job or contract, make ourselves look good before others, destroy other’s reputation, and mislead others. We lie when in trouble, during examinations, on application forms, in interviews, tax claims, filing reports and other routine documentation. We embellish the facts a little here and there when telling our story or that of others for effect. In all of these and many other situations, we walk away congratulating ourselves for being smart or for being such wonderful speakers. What is wrong with us?
The story is told by Dr. Charles Gilkey of Chicago who recalls an uncle at Islesboro, Maine. As he sat by the fireside conducting a family worship, he read Psalms 116:1.
“I said in my haste, all men are liars” (Ps. 116:11).
The old uncle remarked, “David said this in his haste; but if he had taken his time to think about it deeply, he couldn’t have come nearer the truth. He wouldn’t have had any reason to change his mind.” And that’s the pity of today! It shows how normal lying has become.
We have conveniently forgotten how seriously God views lying and how harshly He deals with it! We forget the Garden experience that got us here before Christ.
“Did God really say, ‘you must not eat of any tree in the garden’?” Satan said (Gen. 3:1).
You know the rest of the story.
Sadly we continue to lie. However, the story of Ananias and Sapphira must be seen as God’s deliberate reminder to the church of His aversion for lying (Acts 5:1-10). Why then haven’t we learned? I don’t know how many of us would be alive today if God reacts to our lies as He did to Ananias and Sapphira.
In spite of grace, have you considered the diverse ways in which we lie? There is nothing harsher than grieving the Spirit or quenching His fire (Eph. 4:30; 1 Thess. 5:19). Ask strongman Samson (Judges 16:20). If we claim Jesus who is the Truth as our Savior and Lord, we can’t continue to speak the native language of the devil (Jn. 8:44).
Our defense is in perceiving God in His holiness. When we see Christ in His transcendent glory and majesty, we realize how sinful telling a lie is. Hopefully, we’ll be humbled enough to bite our tongues and rather tell the truth. He deserves nothing short of glory.