How many “little” lies do we excuse as not so bad? Yet the Bible is crystal clear that to lie is to sin. But before those lies are told, two lies need to be believed—a lie about God and a lie about ourselves.
The fall of mankind began with a lie. “Has God really said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” This was followed by a second lie. “You certainly will not die! For God knows that on the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will become like God, knowing good and evil.”[i] Sadly, we know how the story ends. Adam and Eve ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and sin entered the world. They were expelled from the Garden, and the sin of lying spread in the hearts and out the mouths of their descendants.
Cain lied to God about murdering his brother Abel. A father and son each lied about their relationship to their wives to protect themselves. False prophets arose telling the people of Israel, “Peace,” when there was no peace, putting words in God’s mouth. Jesus warned of wolves infiltrating the flock of God with false teaching.[ii]
Today, we get phone calls from scammers impersonating representatives of legitimate organizations to steal confidential information. Conspiracy theories abound on social media and are shared by friends, family, and even ourselves, unwittingly passing on falsehoods. When a scandal erupts in any sector, including Christian ministry, not only is the leader exposed but a network of enablers who lied to keep this person in power. And how many “little” lies do we excuse as not so bad? Yet the Bible is crystal clear that to lie is to sin. But before those lies are told, two lies need to be believed – a lie about God and a lie about ourselves.