“You and I can have closer fellowship if you know that I’m telling the truth and if I, in turn, know that you are doing the same. Truth cultivates trust.” —Charles R. Swindoll
Of all the bad habits we could address, few are more prevalent yet more acceptable than lying. And few are more destructive to our relationships and our integrity. As painful as it may be to hear, we’re a nation of liars. The majority of people find it hard to get through a week without lying! And unfortunately, Christians are not the exception.
It is time for us to face it: lying is an ongoing habit that we must expose, analyze, and stop! We must stop lying and start telling the truth, and with God’s help through the guidance of His Word, we can do just that.
Paul urges us to throw off our old ways, renew our minds, and put on Christ’s new ways (Ephesians 4:22–24). Imagine the habits of our old life as an old tattered and stained T-shirt or as a pair of old rotten sneakers.
Paul urges us to throw away the vestiges of our old life—not just set them aside for later use but toss them into the incinerator never to wear them again! And put on beautiful clothes befitting our new identity as God’s children.
The key to “putting off and putting on” is letting “the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes” (4:23). The following chart lists some thoughts from our old life that lead to lying. What might be a correlating, Spirit-renewed thought of the new life? The first one is filled in as an example, and verses are listed to help you.
Our behaviour reveals our spiritual heritage. For this reason, Paul pleads with those who follow Christ, “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children” (Ephesians 5:1). We mouth the thoughts of the Devil when we lie; conversely, we mouth the thoughts of our heavenly Father when we speak truth. How much better is that!
“Stop Lying and Start Acknowledging” is from Chuck Swindoll’s series Things to Stop and Start. You can stream this message online anytime at insightforliving.ca/audiolibrary.