Get Rid of Ill-fitting Clothing

Do you have that piece of clothing hanging around in the back of your closet, waiting for the day when you have … lost enough weight; get that special date; have the courage to wear it etc.  One of the starting points for revamping your closet is to get rid of anything that no longer fits your size, or serves no purpose.  The process is to fit on every bit of clothing and remove from the closet anything too small, too big, thread bear or not to your taste anymore.

One of the items of spiritual clothing that the Message bible describes as being filthy and ill-fitting is our tendency to lie to one another.  (Col 3:9 Message)

“Don’t lie to one another. You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe.”

Do Not Lie to One Another

“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbour, for we are all members of one body.” (Ephesians 4:25)

“For, ‘Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.” (1 Peter 3:10-11)

Lying does not fit with the new person we are in Christ!  Yet for many of us we keep it in the back of the spiritual closet, just in case.  In a recent study by Robert S. Feldman at the university of Massachusetts, it was found that 60% of people tell at least one lie in a ten minute conversation, but told an average of 2-3 lies.  Lying would be the most common sin.  A lie is often in unguarded words, imaginations, exaggerations, part-truths, or a truth that has been massaged a little.  Do you even have to use words to lie?  One can lie by omission, giving a misleading impression and then excusing it by saying: “I did not lie.”

People will essentially lie for three reasons:

  1. To protect themselves or get out of trouble
  2. To keep from hurting someone (never mind that it would hurt them that you lied in the first place)
  3. To appear likable or get something you want.

The true sin of lying is in the intention to deceive.

Lying demonstrates that the respect of people or the protection of self is more important than the opinion of God. 

Many people believe that lying is not a big deal, but one has to look at lying the way that God looks at it.  God gives clear instructions about not lying in the ten commandments. (Lev 19:11; Exodus 20:16)   Of the seven things that God hates, listed in Proverbs 6:16-19, three of them have to do with lying.

“There are six things the Lord hates,
    seven that are detestable to him:
         haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
         a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
         a false witness who pours out lies
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.”

Lying originates with Satan, described as the “father of lies” in John 8:44.  God in contrast, is the author of truth, He is truth and in time God will reveal all lies.  I personally believe that any lie that one may have based their life on, will be revealed before we die because God reveals everything that is secret and allows us time to repent.

It is often easier to lie than to face the consequences.  We can control whether we lie, but we cannot control the consequences of a lie.  It could cost a life!

In 1 Kings 13, the old prophet tells a lie about receiving a word from God, and it ends up costing the man of God who he lied to, his life.  In Acts 5, Ananias and Saphira each tell a lie to protect their reputations, costing each of them their lives.  If you are in a life and death situation, would you lie? Or would you entrust your life to God? (Matt 16:26 “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? “)

The bottom line is that we cannot control the consequences of a lie and truthfully we are always biased to our own benefit.

We need to resolve in our hearts not to lie.

When it comes to lies, we need to make a decision to get rid of this piece of spiritual clothing from our spiritual closet once and for all.  We also cannot allow ourselves to fall back into this old character trait, that does not fit with the new person we are in Christ.  We, as believers, model the character of God, and God does not lie. (Numbers 23:19; Titus 1:2)

We as believers are not to lie to one another because it breaks down the intimacy in our relationships with each other and our relationship with God. Damage is suffered in the relationship: which makes us question truth in the future and makes us distrusting. A society that lies, breaks down the respect for truth, the belief that people are dependable and intend no harm.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What would motivate you to lie?  Next time you catch yourself in a lie, ask yourself what the motivation is?  Honestly examine what the source of the tendency to lie is.
  2. What type of lie are you most likely to tell?  Remember, a lie includes a half-truth, exaggeration, imagination, a distortion of truth, or even an omission of the truth, or the covering up of truth.  Everyone has one type of lie that they are more likely to tell.
  3. Make up a list of ten strategies for yourself that will help you to start living honestly. Some examples may be to: tell the truth to me, others and God, keep your word, don’t exaggerate,  do what is right etc.

  “A good man hates lies; wicked men lie constantly and come to shame.” (Proverbs 13:5 Living Bible)

“Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.” (Proverbs 10:9)

Father God, thank you that You do not lie.  You cannot lie to me, and all Your promises are yes and amen.  Help me to watch for lying in my life and character.  Show me situations in which I tend to lie, for I long to live with integrity that will model Your character to the world around me.  Help me entrust my reputation and safety to You so that I will not be tempted to promote or protect myself by lying in any circumstances.  Show me, Lord, where a lie has become established in my life so that I can get rid of it and live in truth.  In Jesus name.

Next: A New Set of Clothes

Previous: Get Rid of Filthy Rags