Thursday, June 2nd, 2016
Proverbs For Performers (Part 24)
Don't Speak Deception
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)
Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord.
Proverbs 12:22 (NKJV)
Among the seven abominations, I've tripped over the second one, too: a lying tongue, as in speaking falsely. Funny thing: I would call myself honest. In business, honesty is our practice. At home, honesty can take a sharp edge. So before I rest on misplaced laurels, I refuse surrender to self-deceit. Because lying has many subtle forms.
Therefore, self-reflection is essential, and I ask it of me and my brethren.
Obviously, God knows all about me, and He's gentle with self-revelations. But consider one common form of lies: exaggeration--or upping the truth. Like a scriptwriter adding more drama, because the world likes mind-blowing action. But does God's truth need man's embellishment? I don't think so, so we must rein it in.*
Now consider the slyest form of lies: mixing one part fact with two parts fiction. I believe it's Satan's favorite dish. Because of its innocent appearance, countless people have been sickened or killed from this devious, devilish delight.
Also consider what we call white lies. Like saying someone looks good--who doesn't. Like phoning in sick to work--when we aren't. Or lying to get out of a contract: like a commitment we come to regret or a promise we don't want to honor. But can any lie be thought of as white? Didn't some of God's Own stars tell white lies?**
Actors, models and talent for Christ: You're truth-tellers and story-tellers. Can you do both with integrity? With truthfulness and sincerity? Since you serve a God of intentions Who sees into your heartfelt motives, I believe your answer can be YES. Fans want to watch genuine people.
At the same time, God hates a liar. So let's pray King David's wise request: 'Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips' (Psalm 141:3).
To Be Continued...
* Guilty. Working on it. Exaggerators often use words and expressions like 'always', 'never', 'absolutely', 'the best', 'the worst', and 'the most.' God owns all superlatives.
* Previous 8-part AMTC Devotion series, called, Superlatives!: http://amtcdevotions.org/superlatives-part-1-their-rightful-owner
** Some of God's heroes told partial truths and/or said what some might call lies. In addition, unsung war heroes have lied to save the lives of victims in hiding. So when is it right to lie? That answer is between God and each of His people. But surely, lying for selfish purposes (gaining attention, harming another, profiting wrongly or reneging on an obligation) cannot be right.
** Somewhat lengthy, Bible-referenced and interesting article: White Lies--Lies Approved by God: http://www.thepathoftruth.com/teachings/white-lies-approved-by-god.htm
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Proverbs for Performers series.