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Friday, April 1, 2011

Swallowing Lies: Part 1 of 5

Culture of Dishonesty

Have you noticed how dishonesty is not just rampant, but has become increasingly acceptable in professional or casual situations?  Oh, we’d never admit to it openly, but a lot of us would justify to ourselves a small lie to the boss about being sick, or the minor misrepresentation of our job/skill/hobby to make it sound a bit more important.  We even say things like, "I hate that I had to lie to her," like maybe if we had no choice, we're less culpable.  Do we have a choice?  And if no one gets hurt, as they say, is it a big deal?
Let’s change the question.  Can the consequences of honesty (losing your job, losing the adulation of others) ever actually justify a lie?  If we identify lying, all lying, white, black, and the spectrum of shades between, as sin, then we can truly weigh the costs.  If you tell your boss where you really were last Tuesday, you may lose your job.  But if you commit sin, Paul says the wages of such is death (Rom 6:23).  A just God wouldn't peg such a heavy penalty on lying if we "just really had to sometimes!"  So, logically, we must have a choice, even when it's a tough one.  And when Paul puts it in these terms, doesn’t losing some credibility look great compared with, oh…eternal torment?

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