#2 – “A lying tongue”

Second, let’s look at “a lying tongue”;

    The definition of “lie” – “marked by or containing falsehoods. To make an untrue statement intended to deceive. To create a false or misleading impression. To “equivocate” implies using words having more than one sense so as to seem to say one thing but intend another. To “palter” implying making unreliable statements of fact or intention. To “fib” which applies to telling a trivial untruth.”

    Lying is mentioned twice. It gets top billing here in these things that God really hates. Why does he hate it so much? Because it is so directly opposite to his nature. If God hates lying, then so should we if we are becoming like Him as His people. We are not to be saying things that are untrue in order to get ahead; or to be seen as better than you are; or to cover up something; or to purposely appear smarter or more holy.  Let’s read this worst-case scenario from James chapter 3:1-14;

   “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.

   When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

    All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

   With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

   Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.”

   Lies differ in type, incidence, magnitude, and consequence, with a great variation of severity from harmless exaggeration to intentional and habitual deceit. Four basic types of lies can be identified as;
*    Prosocial: Lying to protect someone.
*  Self-enhancement: Lying to save face, avoid embarrassment, disapproval or punish ment.
*    Selfish: Lying to protect self at the expense of another; or to conceal a misdeed.
*    Anti-social: Lying to hurt someone intentionally.

   Lying is considered by most child development specialists to be a natural developmental occurrence in childhood. Making up stories is part of a normal fantasy life for young children. Children from age five or six have learned the difference between lies and truth. School-age children experiment with selfish lies to avoid punishment or to gain advantage. By age seven or eight, children have developed the ability to convincingly sustain a lie. Adolescents may lie to cover up serious behavioral problems. The point is that children become more adept liars with practice. As they grow older, it may become more difficult to discern or detect dishonesty.

   Most children however, with the benefit of a loving family environment where honesty is valued and modeled and dishonesty is appropriately challenged, will quickly recognize that lying is not an acceptable behavior.



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