This morning I saw a tweet from my son, and I always read what my sons post on twitter. Ben linked to an article and said in his tweet, “something I need to work on immediately.” Impressed with his transparency, I opened the article and began to read. Liking the content, I retweeted it, closed the page, and went on with my busy day.
But as I worked my to-do list, my mind kept returning to the article’s theme that small lies add up; they influence what we think and who we become. Stretching the facts a bit for greater impact, rounding numbers up, or eliminating details that aren’t favorable to our image are common practices for most of us.
As moms we are usually united in our determination to raise kids who are truth-tellers. In our house lying was a very big deal. We knew the Proverb which says, “Six things the Lord hates, no seven.” And in that list is “a lying tongue.” If God hates lying, so too must we.
When our children became capable of deliberately crafting a lie—usually after their third birthday—we dealt with our little ones’ budding deceit quickly, leaving no doubt in their little minds that it was a big “no-no.” And with each of them the lying ceased for a season. It resurfaced as they got older and thought they could outwit their parents. But God helps parents who pray, and ours usually got caught.
However, the article my son tweeted is about adult lying, so it made me think of a few questions for us grown-ups. Have you ever exaggerated a story about a friend to your husband to make yourself look more righteous, better than her? Guilty. Have you added adjectives to your description of someone or something to enhance your point to get what you want? Affirmative. What about telling a friend how long you’ve worked or served in the church or for a good cause and you stretched the facts just a little to pad the impact? Hmmm. I’ve certainly heard this one.
This isn’t about pointing fingers at others. It’s choosing to listen to the Holy Spirit of God speak to our own hearts, open our own eyes to what He sees. It is His responsibility to show us our errors, our mistakes, our sin. It is ours to listen, confess, and ask for His guidance that we might speak only what is true and good and right. An impossibility without the Spirit of God. Agree?