This morning's chapter-a-day was Genesis 20, the story of Abraham lying to Abimelech by saying Sarah was his sister, not his wife. Two truths are clear: 1) Even a partial truth is still a lie. 2) Lies have consequences.
Wait. Didn’t Abraham already learn his lesson about portraying his wife as his sister?
It doesn't matter if you are lying out of fear or not wanting to hurt someone's feelings, or pride, or any other reason; lying ruins relationships and destroys trust.
Several years ago, when dealing with this issue with one of our kids, they incorporated this question into a school project on surveys: Is it ever OK to lie?
The majority of respondents (mostly believers in God's Word) said YES, it is OK to lie.
They gave a variety of reasons similar to those given above, as well as things like, "If I were hiding Jews from the Nazis, and the Nazis asked if I were hiding Jews, I would lie."
Sounds good, doesn't it? Sounds noble to protect those in harm’s way, right?
But what does lying reveal about our belief in God?
In that circumstance, it reveals that we don't really believe God is able to protect them without our help — our help by lying (which violates His commandment not to bear false witness). While there are examples in the Bible of people who lied with great intentions, and it worked out, God never instructs or needs for us to lie to accomplish His purposes. And we miss the most miraculous working of God when we choose to “fix” the situation by lying.
In other circumstances, it reveals that we don't take His commandments all that seriously.
"Did God really say...?" That was the enemy's tactic in the Garden, to cast doubt on whether God really expected us to follow His command and whether God's command really was what was best for us. His tactics haven't changed since the dawn of creation. Don't fall for the Father of Lies' deceit. Honesty and integrity matter.
Ask God to show you a better way out that doesn’t compromise the truth.