Truthful lips endure forever

Posted on August 3, 2008 · Posted in Lying

Truthful lips endure forever,
  but a lying tongue lasts only a moment. Proverbs
12:19

The LORD detests lying lips,
  but he delights in men who are truthful. Proverbs
12:22

We are all born liars. Not a pleasant thought, but true. Like
you, your children were born with the capacity and proclivity to lie. Psalm
58:3 says that we come from the womb speaking lies. While we know the Bible
teaches this, we are often shocked by our children’s lies.

The inclination to deceptive thoughts and actions never
leaves us. When our children lie, it is a little too close to home. Yes, we are
hurt that our own child will not tell us the truth. But also, it is disturbing
to see our own sins taking root in our kids. It is unpleasant, and we don’t
want to look at it any longer than necessary. However, you must think carefully
how to provide biblical help to your child. You must not turn away from this
sin or dismiss it with a few sharp words. Satan deceived our first parents, and
deception has dominated the human race ever since. Your children need you to
help them fight this destructive sin of lying and deception.

Lying is the logical
extension of a self-centered nature. Children tend to lie in two types of
circumstances. First, they lie when they fear a consequence so much they will
do anything to avoid it, e.g. punishment for hitting. Second, children tend to
lie when there is something they desire, and they see lying as the best way to get
it; e.g., I am angry with my brother, so I will make up something to make him
look bad. In both situations the reason for the lie is the same—a self-centered
viewpoint.

Lying is in classic contrast to the character of God. God
never lies. He does not deceive. He does not make things up so that he will
look good. Humans in general, and children in particular, often vest themselves
in doing whatever is necessary to avoid blame or earn praise. A child will lie
because he believes it is the best option open to him at the moment. It is also
the course of least resistance that is completely compatible with his nature from
birth (Eph. 2:1-3).

So what do you do when your child lies to you? Show him that
God is bigger than he is—that God knows his heart and knows he is lying even if
he manages to fool everyone else. Psalm 139 is good for this purpose, as well
as Proverbs 5:21. Your child must believe that you believe that nothing gets by
God. Here are some practical suggestions that may help you in dealing with
lying.

As with a lot of
things, the actual occurrence of the sin  is not the most productive time to teach about
it. Find a time when things are calm and positive and use that time to teach
about lying. You could use a role play scenario to demonstrate how foolish it is
to try to get away with something while God is watching. For example; would it
be a smart thing to take an extra cookie while mommy is watching? Your child
would say no, that would be foolish and
silly.
Well, telling a lie in front of God is also foolish and silly, as
Psalm 139 teaches. Then, you can go back to a previous incident when your child
had acknowledged lying about hitting his sister. Did God see you hit your
sister? Does God care about how you treat your sister? Do you think that God
will help Mommy and Daddy to find out if you have lied? Then, when lying does
occur again you can point to the role play you had.

Discipline is certainly an appropriate response to lying. If
your child believes that he can successfully deceive you as God’s authority,
then he will also believe that he can deceive God as well. If this is not consistently
addressed, a life-long pattern of self-deception can dominate your child.

Especially with young children, it is vital to establish the
authority of God’s word. The two Proverbs listed at the beginning of this post
are direct and powerful. God does detest lying lips! As with all of your
training and discipline, the authority of God must be at center of your
instruction. Embracing life which is truly life begins with telling the truth,
both to yourself and to others. More on this in the next post.

Let me know reactions.

 

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