Falsehood and Deception

By Nelson Thomas Mumbai

Once an Indian politician said, ‘not to believe everything that the media says.’ To prove her point, she referred to her own practice as a journalist!

It is not just about media; even a casual look around us reveals that there is so much falsehood and half-truths making rounds, and we are slowly getting accustomed to such a lifestyle. From the common man to the rich and powerful, everyone tries a lie here and there to achieve their agenda.

Many tend to think that tricks and tactics are more valuable than honesty and openness. For them, truthfulness and sincerity are old-fashioned, not respected virtues!

What should a believer’s attitude be to such a mindset of the modern man? If we are not clear about it, chances are that we too may be influenced by this worldly attitude and begin to simply follow the crowd. Let us consider six things about falsehood.

1.           Falsehood and deception are marks of Satan. (John 8:44)

“He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

We can notice the deceptive work of the devil from the Garden of Eden. Satan lied to Eve about God’s truthfulness, righteousness, and goodness. In Job 1:10, 11, we see him lying to God about the man.

Thus, throughout history, we can notice how Satan used falsehood to accomplish his evil schemes. The word of God also tells us that in the future, the devil will energize the antichrist to speak lies. 1Jn 2:22.

2.           Deception is one of the features of a sinful life. (Romans 3:13)

"Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive." "The venom of asps is under their lips."

As man became a slave to Satan, it is no wonder that he is just imitating the devil, ‘the father of lies.’ As referred to earlier, today man has found many excuses to whitewash his lies. Many people think there are even white lies!

We should not forget that exaggeration, flattery, half-truth, hiding a fact, slander, tale-bearing, fabricated stories to tarnish the reputation of another, etc., are all different aspects of a lie and they come from Satan. Leviticus 19: 16; 1Timohty 5:13; Psalms 55: 21; 101:5; Jude v. 16; etc. God’s people must be aware that anything other than truth is evil and we cannot be part of it.

3.           Deception affects generations. (Genesis 27: 24; 37: 32)

Abraham lied about his wife; his son Isaac repeated the same thing. Jacob, Isaac’s son, in a very treacherous manner, deceived his father, brother, and father-in-law. Jacob’s sons also continued in the same way. See, how the habit of falsehood spreads to generations. David’s dishonesty passed on to his son, and it was so terrible for David to bear. 2Samuel 13:6.

This is something we should be careful about because our children notice our hypocrisy and follow it. Sad to notice that despite the numerous examples before us, we refuse to learn and amend our ways. Oh, how much we ought to be true and sincere even before our children, at least for the sake of their blessed future!

4.           The outcome of lying is destructive.  (Proverbs. 21:6)

“The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.”

The consequences of any falsehood are far-reaching. Not only does falsehood spread to generations, but it also damages the lives and reputations of many.

Think of the result of Haman’s lie in the book of Esther. The King made a decree to destroy an entire community. It was the false allegation of Nero that resulted in the persecution of Christians in the first century.

The result of unfaithful and fraudulent dealings will never be good for anyone.

5.           Liars do not last. (Proverbs 12:9)

“Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.” Whether it is the liar himself or the beneficiaries or whatever was achieved dishonestly, they cannot last for long. It is foolishness to think that we can succeed with falsehood forever.

We know the lie of Gehazi and the results. (Cf. 2 Kings 5:22) The lie of Haman did not survive either. (Esther 3:8)   No one can continue forever with their deceptive lifestyle.

“Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD.” (Proverb 12:22) Our God hates any form of falsehood. Some, with sweet talk and diplomatic dealings, gain the confidence and goodwill of many. Alas! One day, God almighty Himself will intervene and reveal the deception. The Bible says that one day He will punish all the liars. (Revelation 21:8)

6.           There is power and safety in truthfulness.

Throughout the Bible, we see how much God values truthfulness and hates deceitfulness, for He is a God of truth. (Genesis 3: 9, 10; 4:10; 17:1; Deuteronomy 13:3; 32:4; 2 Chronicles 29:17; Psalm. 51:6; Isaiah 1:13ff; 59:14, 15; Zechariah 8:16; John 14:6; 18:31, etc.)

God looks at our hearts and intentions and even reveals them before our eyes. If we live with falsehood, He cannot associate with us or bless us. How often the Lord Jesus Christ rebuked the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, for their religious activities were just a show. (Matthew 23:25 – 28) At the same time, He commended Nathanael for his sincerity saying, “Behold an Israelite, in whom is no deceit.” (John 1: 47)

Not only we must be true to God, we ought to be true even to one another in our words and deeds. (Isaiah 33:15; Psa. 15:2; Eph. 4:25; 1 John 3:18; Tit. 2:7) There should not be any hidden motive in our dealings with others. (Philippians 1:16) About our Lord the Bible says, “There was no deceit found in His mouth.” (Malachi 2:6; 1Peter 2:22)

Remember, sooner or later others will come to know the reality, and that will affect our relationship with one another. On the contrary, a sincere, truthful life gives credibility to a believer, and that gives him a good standing before God as well as man. Even we will feel a kind of boldness and strength, which otherwise we would never have experienced. (1 John 3:21)

No wonder Paul presents truth as a belt to be used by a spiritual warrior. (Ephesians 6:14a) This means that when we fasten truth around our waist like a belt, we are gripped and guarded by truthfulness, which in turn, makes us equipped to face spiritual warfare effectively.

God will never forsake those who are true and sincere. He will stand with those who stand for the truth. He will not withhold any good from those who walk uprightly, even to their generations. Let us shun everything false, but love and promote truth.




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