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What is your earliest memory of being caught in a lie? For me, I was in the first or second grade. I don’t remember what I lied about. But I do remember what happened to me. Mom washed my mouth out with soap. At least one of my siblings received the same treatment, but I don’t remember which. My memories center on the yucky taste of soap. I don’t know if Mom grabbed the first thing handy or not, but she used Lava brand soap. Fine grit fills that soap. It aids in scrubbing off grime. Well, it must have scuffed some of my taste buds. Nothing tasted right the rest of the day! I learned telling the truth is best.
It is one thing to lie to your mom. It is another to lie and pervert justice. Exodus 20:16 says, “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.” (NIV) In the ancient nation of Israel, bearing false witness involved lying to cause legal problems for your neighbor. Their system of justice was simple. A person brought an accusation. The judge, and later the king, listened and rendered judgement. Lying in the accusation, or as a witness in the case, perverted justice.
Today, several ways exist to bear false witness that don’t require a court room. Telling lies, gossip and posting falsehoods on social media are common examples. All cause trouble for someone else. As Ephesians 4:15 says, we must speak the truth in love.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.