Proverbs 29:22–25, Philippians 2:5–11, Galatians 6:1–5
Tell the truth. That is a maxim for life. However, often we succumb to the temptation to lie. We can be surprised when it pops out, or we could plan for it. There are times where lying is appropriate (as many Germans, for example, lied to the Nazis to protect Jews). Most lying, however, is not such.
Lying can come from anger. It can come from pride. It can come from fear. An angry person may lie to inflict pain upon the person they feel is hurting them. A person of pride may make their story bigger to make themselves feel superior. They might also lie to preserve their way of life or gain. Fearing mankind, however, is probably the biggest root cause of lying. The wisdom of Proverbs is that fear men before fearing God is not a good prioritization of things.
Paul’s train of thought regarding Jesus submitting himself to all (really, by dying he did), Jesus provides the example of selflessness. We are often taught a selflessness that is mindless and without self. Yet, that is not Jesus’ example. Did Jesus at any point forget who he was? Did Jesus stop being who he was? Of course not!
The humble and aware obedience that Jesus displayed is the example. Jesus was angry at times (think the temple). He did not lie or seek to hurt others. He sought to correct others in a way that some (not all) would understand. Jesus could have made himself out to be the King of Kings.
Instead, he would escape the crown of an Earthly kingdom. Jesus consistently shared the Truth in the face of people who not only didn’t want the Truth, they also wanted him dead.
The biggest temptation when it comes to lying is catching the other person in it. We feel so much better about ourselves. “…if someone is overtaken in any wrongdoing…restore…with a gentle spirit.” The gentle spirit is why Christ’s humility is so essential. We’ve all been there.
What makes that lie we told better than theirs? Nothing. We need to submit ourselves to our fellow Christians, not just because we are called to, but because when humbly submit ourselves, we are able to correct in love.
We don’t like this submit, humbleness, nor truth. It makes us uncomfortable when we make it a way of life. We don’t mind doing it when it costs us nothing. If it costs nothing, of what value is it?