Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
The Ninth Commandment shows us that God hates lying. He cannot tolerate deception or falsehood of any kind. Why does God hate lying so much? Let me mention two reasons.
One reason is because of its origin. In James 1:17, James reminds us that God is the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. God is absolute truth. He is the essence of truth. And therefore he has no tolerance for untruth whatsoever. On the other hand, as we’re going to see in just a moment, all lies originate with Satan. In John 8:44, Jesus said that Satan “does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” Thus, when we who claim to be the offspring of God engage in lying, we’re acting more like the offspring of Satan.
Lying is contrary to who we are in Christ Jesus. Listen to the words of Ephesians 4:17. Paul says, “This I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk.” And then verse 25, “Therefore laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.” God hates lying, first of all, because of its origin. Lying didn’t originate with God; it originates with Satan.
Second, I believe God hates lying because of its results in our life. Those who engage in lying cause strife among the brethren. Remember in Proverbs 6, we see the seven things that God hates most and the seventh thing, the climax, is “one who spreads strife among brothers” (v. 19). This phrase is referring to those who cause trouble, those who cause division, especially within the church. And lying is a primary vehicle for doing just that.
Not long ago, a survey asked people what quality they most value in friendships. You know what the number one quality was? Honesty … just telling the truth. If you look back over an important relationship that once meant something to you but was broken, more likely than not, at the essence of the breakup of that relationship was some form of deceit, some form of untruth, some type of lying. Lying causes strife and division among people. God hates lying because falsehood identifies us more with Satan than with God and results in the breakup of important relationships.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “To Tell the Truth,” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.