Why Do We Lie?
We know that lying is wrong, so why do we do it? Often it’s because we’ve been caught doing something wrong, so we want to find a way to explain it. But we’ll also lie to save face or lie to keep from offending someone.
Regardless, commandment nine of the Ten Commandments tells us, “You must not testify falsely against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16 NLT). Or, simply put, “You shall not lie.”
There are a number of ways we lie, from outright lies to so-called little white lies. But there’s also another way we lie, and that is through gossiping and backbiting. For example, when we say things like “Have you heard . . .” or “Hey, I don’t know if this is true, but . . .” or “I wouldn’t tell you this, but I know it won’t go any further . . . ,” that is gossip.
The word gossip even hisses when we say it. It reminds us of the Serpent’s temptation of Eve in the Garden of Eden. The Devil really is in the details here because we can end up slandering someone or destroying their reputation by saying something that isn’t factually true.
I’ve often said that it’s always a good idea to apply the acronym T.H.I.N.K. before we speak: Is it true? Is it helpful? Is it inspiring? Is it necessary? Is it kind? If what you’re about to say doesn’t meet those standards, then don’t say it.
Proverbs 6:16–19 lists seven things that God hates, and interestingly, two of them have to do with lying. Not only that, but Jesus described the Devil as “the father of lies” (John 8:44 NLT).
So when we lie, we’re behaving more like the children of the Devil than the children of God. God hates it when His people lie.