“The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.” Proverbs 14:8
Deception can be a quick, easy way to get out of an awkward situation or a tight jam. Just a little white lie to a four-year-old (“we don’t have any ice cream”), to the sales clerk (“it was a gift”), or to your husband (“it was on sale”) may seem harmless at the time, but that shortcut comes at a high price.
Easy, quick solutions to immediate dilemmas often bring significant long-term consequences. Much sin is like that. We do not want to wait, we do not want to be thought less of, and we do want to avoid conflict … and so we resort to deception.
We lie. And if we lie, that makes us a liar—and according to Proverbs 14:8, that also makes us a fool.
Those who are wise, however, refuse the “deception solution.” They think before speaking. They are not seduced by the quick, easy way out.
When tempted to lie, the wise woman remembers:
- This lie could bring significant consequences later.
- This lie brings the challenge of remembering not just the truth, but keeping up with the lie so as not to give myself away later.
- This lie will damage my character.
- Even if no one else finds out (unlikely), I will know and God will know.
- I belong to Christ. By calling myself a Christian, I have identified myself with Him … and this lie will malign His great name.
For those who are teachers, parents, or leaders, the stakes are even higher. Because we are in a position to influence others, our deceptive ways can prompt others to take the easy way out, too.
If I lie—even one time—it makes me a liar. That is an ugly-but-true reality. By cultivating the habit of refusing to lie in small things, we will be well prepared to resist the temptation to lie in bigger things. For the woman who follows Christ, this is non-negotiable.
Lord, help me to choose Your way, the way of truth. When tempted to lie, show me the wisdom of speaking honest words instead. Convict me when I have lied … give me strength and courage to confess, make amends, and seek forgiveness. May I never be found maligning Your name.
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