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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Seven things God has strong opinions about - Part II

Here are six things God hates,
    and one more that he loathes with a passion:
      eyes that are arrogant,
      a tongue that lies,
      hands that murder the innocent,
      a heart that hatches evil plots,
      feet that race down a wicked track,
      a mouth that lies under oath,
      a troublemaker in the family.
(Proverbs 6:16-19)

Yesterday we began to look at seven things that God actually tells us he hates or abhors.  We explored that the proud or arrogant attitude of a man is a thing that turns God's stomach because it affects the ability of others to see God in us.  Since we are called to be his display of grace and mercy to a lost and dying world, this is a significant thing.

Today, we will look at the attitude or behavior that God finds to be very repulsive in his sight - the lying tongue.  God finds a lying tongue a repugnant thing - it causes him extreme displeasure and he passionately pleads for us to avoid the destructiveness of lying.  The affect of a lying tongue on both the one who is the believer of the lie and the one who speaks the lie is what God is interested in here.

A person that tells lies is motivated by one of several reasons:  
  1. They do not feel the truth is grandiose enough - so they embellish it to make themselves look better.  This is really a pride thing - we believe that if the truth made us look good enough, we'd never find the need to embellish it so that others would see us or our involvement in a situation in a different light.  The root of this type of lying is deeply seated in our own pride.  We want others to see us differently than we are - so we create a story.  In God's economy, reality reigns.  Transparency and authenticity are two traits that are praised when they are exhibited.
  2. They do not value the impact of the truth - so they use embellished or use misleading stories to "manage" the relational impact of what is shared.  This is a dangerous use of words - when we seek to cover-up the reality of our true feelings or desires within a relationship, we are creating a false sense of security for the other person.  This type of "protective lying" actually damages the relationship because trust is never fully established.
  3. They desire to hurt others - so they manipulate another by the lies they tell.  Some individuals actually set out to hurt by the words they choose to speak.  An untruth used this way becomes a dagger in the hand of the one using it to "dig into" the character of another, bringing untold damage to that other person's character or reputation.  
I suppose we could think of other reasons a person uses lies, but it is pretty much the same underlying reasons.  We either don't stand strong enough in our own virtue or we don't want others to stand strong in theirs.  God's attitude toward the lie is one of disgust - he hates it!  He doesn't hate the liar - just the lying.  

Words have a powerful impact - truth can set us free, while lies can place us deeper into bondage.  God knows the impact and warns us against using words in such a manner.  We are warned repeatedly in Scripture about the importance of managing our words.  Something that is spoken of that many times should become a thing that we spend some time understanding.  Our writer's warning to us is that God "abhors" (has extreme dislike, considers it to be passionately wrong) to using lying words.  If God has that strong of a reaction to a lying word, it is time we consider the root of all untruthful words within our own lives.

We may be the ones speaking the words - if so, it is time to ask God to temper our speech, revealing to us the reason we are compelled to use embellishments of the truth.  We may be the ones hearing and believing the lies - if so, we need God to help us apply "filters" within our hearing to allow us to become aware of the lies we are receiving and believing.  God will do both for us - we need only ask.