Mary had trouble getting the apostles to believe her resurrection tale. They figured she was telling a story. I’ve gotten the same look from people when I tell them I know a dead man that got out of a tomb.
I love the story about the little boy who just couldn’t manage to tell the truth. His mother got so frustrated she called the family’s preacher. The preacher decided he’d tell the boy a whopper so the little boy could see how silly you look when you’re lying.
“Son, I was in town the other day” began the preacher. “And this old yellow dog came up to me – at least I think he was a dog. He had a head like an alligator and a tail like a duck. His feet were like a chicken, but the dog actually talked like a man. He told me a story how he went to Chicago one day and then flew (Oh yeah…he had wings too), he flew alongside a Boeing-767 to Paris for the night and the next morning he raced a Concorde flight back home; he said he won the race. While that yellow dog was tellin’ me this an elephant passed by and the dog ate him. Durndest thing I ever saw. What do ya think about that?” “Preacher,” the boy said, wide-eyed, “that was my dog.”
We live in a culture that is dominated by untruth. According to research reported by The Discovery Channel lying first begins around age 2-3. Mostly it is for the purpose of avoiding punishment (I didn’t take that cookie…even though there are crumbs lining the lips that are denying the heinous crime!).
The truth about lying is that it tends to metastasize, grow like cancer. In
psychological studies 4 year-olds fibbed about once every two hours; it only takes 6 year-olds 90 minutes to tell a lie (on average). But, in a 10 minute conversation between strangers, adults lie (on average) about 3 times. If you do a bit of simple math that’s 18 times an hour! At that rate the average adult, in just two hours of conversation a day, lies between 12 and 13,000 times a year!
That’s a lot of talking yellow-dog-alligator-chicken-ducks!
How did we get this way?
The “idle tales” of human discourse have a root, the father of which is named in Scripture:
When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44b (NRSV)
Jesus was debating with the religious leaders when he said this, and he was referring to Satan as the father of lies. That is in contrast, of course, with the characterization of Jesus as truth (John 14:6).
So, to do another little bit of simple math here, the more you lie, the closer you are to your father in hell; the more you live in truth, the closer you are to the Father in heaven.
When you lie you’re close to home, but is it the home you want?
If, in your pilgrimage through this life you want to draw closer to walking with Jesus, you’re going to have to walk in truth.