Last week Monday, we considered falsehood that is usually prompted by the need to impress (Nnamdi) and the one that is prompted by being excessively loose-tongued. Like we established from scriptures, none of these is justified, and so, none should be found in us.
|Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!|
This post would deal with another two variants of falsehood. They appear to be the most common types. First, there is the lie that is a desperate attempt to shield one from the repercussion of a wrong. Second is the one that is also an attempt to withhold a piece of information that we are reluctant to share. They could get inter-twined.
Lying to Cover Up a Wrong: when I think of this type of falsehood, many Bible characters come to mind but top on my list would be Gehazi (Check here for the tragedy of Gehazi.) Gehazi was the guy who missed the opportunity to get a quadruple portion of the anointing of Prophet Elijah. His boss, Prophet Elisha had won double portion from Elijah, and perhaps, Gehazi would have gotten a fair cut of that anointing- if only he didn’t get greedy and lie to cover up his sins. That is the issue with this type of falsehood- it hardly ever happens by itself; rather it is an attempt to prevent someone who has done something wrong from getting the rewards of his wrong doing- picture Adam trying to think up a justifiable fib for why he ate the forbidden fruit.
Western countries have their opinions about spanking but thank God for my mother’s spanking- it ‘delivered’ me from ending up a Gehazi. This was how it happened- while growing up, my sisters and I (I believe I was not the only thief in that house) took special delight in stealing milk. This was not the funny caught with your hand in the cookie jar stuff. It was the strategically sneak around till no one is watching and down out the diary product in sight. We didn’t stop there- we went all the way to meat in the pot, stuff in the fridge, and baby sister’s Cerelac. I am not proud of these things. What annoyed my mother most was not really the things we took but the haste and vehemence with which we denied ever setting our eyes on the missing stuff. When she couldn’t take it anymore, she showed our backside the way of truth. Before and after spanking our brains out, she would make us read or read to us (if we lost our voice in the spanking process) Revelations 22:15 where they lumped ‘ordinary’ liars together with serious sinners: murderers, sorcerers, whoremongers, and dogs who will never make it inside Heaven. Reading any portion of Revelations is not exactly fun but that verse just made it worse. Between my mother’s switch, the golden Book of Revelations and the mercy of God, we got born again and ‘renounced hidden works of shame (2 Corinthians 4:2).
As I grew older, I stumbled severally- not in stealing stuff, but in thinking up lies to cover up a wrong. You know how you took the time to craft a story that can wriggle you out of the Principal’s hard knocks, your boss’ queries and your friends’ disappointment. While lies may grant us temporal reprieve, we consistently burden our souls with more debris. What God requires from us is the truth in inward places Psalm 51:6). Owning up to our failings and repenting instantly is what David had that Saul did not. I am always inspired when I read how David responded immediately, reflexively when Nathan told him how he had messed up with Bathsheba. Immediately, he said: “I have sinned against the Lord! (2Samuel 12:13)” No excuses. No fibs. No crafty speech.
My Pastor once told us that “when you steal something, you know what you are ‘gaining’, but you can never know what you are losing (Proverbs 28:13). How true! The same applies here.
Perhaps this will help:
· If you know that you will have to lie about it, avoid doing it. This applies to many scenarios including having a physical or emotional extra- marital affair, double dating while single, siphoning money that isn’t yours and signing the attendance register at work or first timers’ slip in a church. State on the slip that you do not wish to be contacted rather than put false contact information. Try to be punctual so you don’t sign with the time-zone of another country
· When you go wrong, own up and ask for forgiveness. You may not be able to get out of the painful repercussions of your sins/ mistake but paying the price is much better than covering it up. And if people do not forgive you, take humble solace in the fact that once you confess and repent, God forgives you.
Lying to Withhold Personal Information: The media use some words loosely – saying “almost 300 lives were lost”, when 226 died, about 300 gallons of urine found, when 210 was found. I refuse to talk about why any gallon of urine was found at all but you get the idea. Although it comes close, the media’s use of word is not what this type of falsehood is about. It is the one that extremely nosey people drive us into committing. I am making an excuse here.
I hate it when people poke into my stuff especially when I don’t think that they have that kind of relationship with me. Sometimes it is funny how a random acquaintance wants to know exactly how much I earn (about so so amount isn’t good enough for them).
Nosey people can be irritating but let no one drive you into iniquity. Sometimes, I have to tell people that I don’t want to talk about ‘it’. They may not like it but that’s much better. Plus now that I think about it, if you cannot respect my decision to keep my privacy, what kind of relationship do we have here?
On this note, I implore you to also become conscious of poking people for personal information. You may be bullying them emotionally or pushing them into the sin of falsehood. Study to mind your own business.
Either way, may The God of all Grace keep us from error and falsehood in speech, in thought and in actions Keep these words in mind, and become more like Him- one blog post at a time.
I leave you in God’s care,
Is there anything i left out in this post as regards these variants of falsehood. Is there anything you know others can learn from you? Please feel free to share with us in the comments section.
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