The next progression in lying is to lie when there is something to be acquired. This type of lie can range from trying to make someone else look bad to scheming to obtain something that cannot be had in a way that pleases God. In both situations the reason for the lie is the same—self-centeredness. But in this second type of lie, the reason for the lie moves beyond mere self-protection to the point of lying to achieve personal desires, even if it means hurting others.
So, you see the progression. This is not simply lying to avoid punishment. This type of lying bears a close connection with the ways of darkness (Eph. 2:1-3). This lie represents a scheming, crafty motivation. This is deceit reaching maturity. Often a young child will blurt out a lie that is foolish – with cookie crumbs all over his face and shirt, your son says, “I didn’t eat the cookie, Mommy.” The scheming liar, the crafty one, makes sure his face is clean and the cookie crumbs are on his sister’s shirt when he lies.
There is real danger here. You must be vigilant to detect the shift to this second type of lie. This where scheming and deep heart issues will grow and fester into youthful lusts.
Youthful lusts go hand in hand with this second type of lie. The world encourages the indulgence of these desires. Teenagers are unlikely to tell their parents that they want to borrow the car to go to a party for drugs, drinking and sex. No, the story will more likely be along the lines of “… a couple of the guys want to go catch a movie and a pizza. And since Joe has to go back to school tomorrow I’ll be later than normal, okay? Thanks Dad”!
Parents, if your children are sullen or aloof, they are especially vulnerable to this type of crafty scheming—or to following the direction of those who will scheme for them. Invest in your kids. Take the time to find out why your children are sad, withdrawn or sullen. This behavior is not simply a phase. It indicates a self-centered, troubled heart. With young children you have the opportunity to address issues of the heart. If you don’t, these issues will grow to be life-dominating sins. Merely correcting behavior cannot be the goal here. You must address the heart. Do whatever it takes to find out what is troubling your child. Be thankful that God helped you to see these lies.