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Lying


In Genesis 37:23-36 we read the story of Joseph and his brothers. Joseph had told his dreams to his brothers and now they were plotting to kill him. The brothers had taken the sheep to graze far from home. Their father, Jacob, sent Joseph to check on the brothers and see if they were well. When Joseph got there the brothers tore off his colorful robe that Jacob had made and threw Joseph into an empty pit. When some traders came by, they pulled Joseph out and sold him. The traders took Joseph to Egypt to be a slave.

When the brothers got home they showed their father Joseph’s coat. They had put goat blood on it. The Bible says, “They took the ornate robe back to their father and said, ‘We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son’s robe.’ He recognized it and said, ‘It is my son’s robe! Some ferocious animal has devoured him. Joseph has surely been torn to pieces.’ Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many days.’” (Genesis 37:32-34 NIV)

Their father was upset and the brothers felt terrible. They had led Jacob to believe a lie even if they hadn’t said anything. They just showed him the coat. Oh how terrible the brothers felt. They could have told their father the truth, but they chose not to.

What does God say about lying?
The Bible says, “The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.” (Proverbs 12:22 NIV) Detest means to have a strong dislike for something. In the Bible we read, “Let their lying lips be silenced, for with pride and contempt they speak arrogantly against the righteous.” (Psalms 31:18 NIV) God does not want us to be untruthful. His joy is in people who can be trusted.

 “These six things the LORD hates,
          Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood,
           A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil,
           A false witness who speaks lies,
          And one who sows discord among brethren.” (Proverbs 6:16-19 NKJV)

What if I just keep quiet about something I know about my friend? The Bible says, “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:16 NIV) We should not tell, or repeat, things that are not true. If you know something that your friend is doing that is dangerous or against the law, you should tell a responsible adult.

What if I don’t say something is wrong, I just keep quiet about the truth. The Bible says, “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17, NKJV)  Not standing up for what you know is right, is still considered lying, but lying in “omission.” “Telling the truth”, includes telling “the whole” truth.

Does God punish people for lying? The Bible says, “But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?” (Acts 5:3 NKJV) Annanias and his wife, Sapphira died because they told lies. Read their story in Acts 5:1-11.

Are little lies alright? The Bible says, “Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me and teach me your law.” (Psalm 119:29 NIV) Deceitful means to do or say something to get someone to believe something that may not be true. God does not want us to be deceitful or to tell “little” lies.
How should Christians speak? The Bible says, “I hate and detest falsehood but I love your law.” (Psalms 119:163 NIV) “Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices.” (Colossians 3:9 NIV) “Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,’ for we are members of one another.” (Ephesians 4:25 NKJV) Instead of lying we are to be truthful.

How should Christians speak? The Bible says, “I hate and detest falsehood but I love your law” (Psalms 119:163 NIV). “Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices” (Colossians 3:9 NIV). “Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,’ for we are members of one another” (Ephesians 4:25 NKJV). Instead of lying we are to be truthful.

The Bible says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8 NIV). God wants us to be truthful in all we do, say and think.


What rewards does God have for those who are truthful? Jesus and the kingdom of heaven is built upon true principles. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6, NKJ). Truth is so much better than a lie and the reward of siding with Jesus will be better than anything you can ever imagine.

Follow this link to read a story about lying, stealing, and honesty. http://www.guidemagazine.org/storyvault/bonuspages/images_pdf/moneyTrouble.pdf