A lying tongue is detestable to the Lord (Proverbs 12:22). I don’t know anyone who actually enjoys lying, but I know I don’t want to meet that person. The fact is, we all lie. No one but Jesus has gone through life completely truthful. It’s sad but true. Some lie without giving much thought to it. Some do it deliberately to gain an advantage. But followers of Jesus should feel sorrowful every time a lie escapes from our lips.
When we lie, we break God’s ninth commandment (Exodus 20:16). That alone condemns us to hell. The first time we lie, we violate God’s law. At that moment, our sin disqualifies us from eternity in His presence. We require the shed blood of Jesus to cover our sins. No matter how well we live the rest of our lives, a single lie ruins any shot we ever had at holiness.
Our tongue is burning fire, able to injure others and ourselves with its power (James 3:5-6). It is perhaps the hardest thing for us to control. A lying tongue seems to have a mind of its own. Sometimes it seems as if a lie comes out without ever being processed by the brain! Knowing how chaotic and unpredictable our tongue can be should make us diligent to order the rest of our life in a way that is pleasing to God. The more we foster an environment of truth and holiness, the less likely it is we will have a lie slip from our lips.
I wish I could tell you I’ve learned the secret to overcoming a lying tongue. Certainly, I’ve found the closer I draw to God, the more time I spend in His Word, and the deeper my faith grows, the lies seem to be fewer and further between. The first step is to determine to break none of God’s laws. We never want to disappoint Him or put our selfish desires in front of what He desires for us. His ways are perfect (2 Samuel 22:31). Ours are not.
Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, gave us a list of things God hates in Proverbs 6:16-19. In this list, Solomon mentions lying twice. That should give us some idea of how much a lying tongue repulses God. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…” (John 14:6). Jesus is the embodiment of truth. Truth is what He is. If we want to look like Jesus, our lives must revolve around what is true and being truthful. There isn’t room for anything else in the life of a disciple.
A lying tongue fosters separation from Jesus. If He is your Lord, you want nothing to come between you and Him. While our lives should be increasingly truthful the more we come to know Him, it is still important to immediately repent and fall to our knees the moment any untruth escapes from our lips. A true follower of Jesus cannot tolerate lying any more than God Himself can. Guard your thoughts. Control what you say. Desire truthfulness over self-promotion and comfort. A lying tongue is detestable to God, and it must be to those who love Him as well.