I was listening to a podcast that said we are told 200 lies a day. I thought that was a lie! So being my skeptical self, I did some research and sure enough, there were some books and research to support this. A 2002 study by Robert Feldman of the University of Massachusetts found that the average person told two to three lies in a ten-minute conversation. Of course these studies include outright lies as well as “white lies,” half-truths and exaggerations. I’ll admit that I know there are times I later realize I had used an exaggeration to make a point, which is a form of untruth! Ouch!
We live in a an age when falsehood is rampant. This year, we saw the rise of a new genre called “fake news.” I find it harder and harder to believe print, broadcast, digital and social “news.” I see social media posts and how people present themselves as so together when I know they are experiencing major struggles. I wish they knew that I would deeply respect their honesty more. And then we buy the “lie” that everyone else is good (or seems to be) and we are not. We live in a world full of lies.
Jesus was so clear that Satan himself is the source of all lies. He declared this as he was talking to some religious leaders who refused to accept him as true and his words as true. This is what Jesus said in John 8:44: `You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.’ And we listen to the internal and external voices that come from the devil and far too often we buy the lies and tell the lies.
The devil tells us that we are unworthy, unlovable and shameful. The devil tells us that God is unworthy and untrustworthy. The devil tells us that the ways of Jesus are too hard or not that important or won’t really do anyone any good. The devil tells us, by exploiting logic and reason, that the Bible is not really the truth or reliable. And we buy the lies.
One of the greatest tragedies is that we have bought the lies about ourselves – that we are not worthy. But the truth is that if we are following Jesus, we ARE a child of God with all the rights of a legitimate child. We are heirs to all that God possesses. We are FULLY loved and cherished and do not need to live in shame or condemnation.
The second tragedy of the lies is that we shrink from true vulnerability. We are vulnerable when we risk telling the truth about ourselves to others or risk telling the truth to others. This level of honesty is so rare that when we experience it, it is so refreshing.
Maybe we all need to look at ourselves more carefully and recommit to a deeper and broader level of truth living. And here’s why. We go back to John 8, in verse 31 and 32 where Jesus said: “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” I want to live in freedom and the path is a full and comprehensive life of truth.