A few years ago I saw a tweet from my son and I always read what my sons post on Twitter.
Ben linked this article, The Surprisingly Large Cost of Telling Small Lies, 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, 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 one’s image are common practices for most of us.
As moms, we are usually united in 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 children are 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 linked article is about adult lying, so 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 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?