A few years ago, I met a young woman—we’ll call her Jackie—who was very vocal about her testimony. Her and her boyfriend had started off their relationship sleeping together and shortly after becoming official, felt conviction from the Lord in this area. They made an agreement with God and each other that they would honor Christ with their bodies. I thought this was a beautiful thing: two people turning from their sin, running toward Christ, and being open about it. Practicing abstinence is difficult enough; add a partner you really want to sleep with and it can feel impossible; but to begin your relationship with casual sex and then make the change to stop that is hard!
Well, my admiration was short lived. After the couple got engaged, Jackie and I went to dinner to gush over all of the juicy details. During the course of our conversation, she shared that her then fiancé asked how she felt about them living together before they got married—an idea I’m sure has crossed the minds of many engaged couples.
Days after my conversation with Jackie, I saw a post on her social media that said since their engagement, friends and family had asked them when they were going to move in together and their response to the varies inquiries had always been a resounding no. She made it sound as though her and her fiancé had always been of the mind that they would not move in together before they got married. Unfortunately, this was a lie. They had, in fact, considered moving in together. Therefore, people were only asking them about something that they had considered themselves.
When I approached her about this inconsistency, she told me the reason she didn’t share that her and her fiancé had considered moving in together was because it was too “personal”. There goes the other shoe. Robert Brault said, “Every lie is two lies—there is the lie we tell others and the lie we tell ourselves to justify it.” She stood by her decision not to share the whole truth, she never amended the post, and, to my knowledge, she still stands by that lie. I have no ill will toward this couple. I am not criticizing them or their story, I’m criticizing the lie.
We all lie for different reasons: convenience, discomfort, to avoid punishment, to gain admiration, control, and some of us tell lies because we think it’s funny. The devil doesn’t care why we think we lie, so long as we do it. The latter half of John 8:44 says, “When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” Lying is the capital method of operation of the enemy. When we lie, we are play right into his hands.
We all lie because we are liars. We are born into sin and desperate to be wicked. One of the differences between a believer and a non-believer is that a believer is aware of his or her condition. Believers do not pretend to be good because we know we are not. I am not sure whether or not Jackie really believed that sharing this information was too personal, for me the kicker was she didn’t have to share it at all! None of us are required to share our testimonies on Instagram, we choose to. There is nothing wrong with using the platform to advance God’s kingdom but don’t lie and then qualify it with God. Proverbs 12:22 says, “The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.”
It is rather astounding the amount of people I’ve met that lie and then qualify their lies with God. There was the co-worker who told me he had a vision from God that I was to be his wife and then proceeded to harass me at work. There was the preacher’s wife, who claimed to have the ability to interpret people’s dreams. Proceeded to interpret a dream I had and then tell me I had an evil spirit living inside of me. Then there is me, who while living outside of God’s will had a girlfriend and lied about it for years because the truth was too personal and uncomfortable to tell.
I don’t know whether or not Jackie is actually redeemed, but I do know that a characteristic of the redeemed is their allegiance to the truth. Believers know that you cannot honor God with false testimony. Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Reverence for God is a guiding light for believers.
Great things can happen in your life and through your life and you can live your life believing that all of this is God’s work and he has no idea who you are. When you stand before God and give account for things you have done and not done, what will you say? When God asks, “Why should I you I let you into my kingdom?” What will you say? Matthew 7:22-23 says, “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive our demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'” This is scary. There are people living their lives believing that they are disciples who are not a part of the family of God!
Jackie continued to keep the world updated on their relationship via social media, which there is nothing inherently wrong with, but her posts told the story of someone who lived on both sides of the aisle. She’d post a picture of them that screamed sex and immediately after post a photo with a caption that talked about them honoring Christ with their bodies. One day, I sent her a message asking her what message she was trying to send with a particular post, and she got angry. I apologized and washed my hands. I am sure I am not the only person who has noticed this inconsistency.
It’s so sad because this couple didn’t have to lie. I know what you’re thinking, it isn’t that big a deal it was only a small lie, a minor misrepresentation of the facts. There is no such thing. The thing about the truth is it’s consistent. The words we may use may differ but the message is always the same. People don’t only lie about one thing or to certain people. Liars lie about everything and to everyone. Anyone who works closely with someone who lies knows I am telling the truth, and they also know how much better life would be if this person simply told the truth.
These are hard truths to hear, but they are necessary. The word of God is sharper than any double-edged sword and if while reading the bible you are not cut into pieces, you may have deeper concerns. I no longer speak to or follow Jackie’s story, so I don’t know her current situation. For all I know, she may have retracted the statement.
The thing about the God we serve is he not only sees and knows what we are doing but he is intimately familiar with our intentions. He knows our hearts fully. We cannot hide from him and we cannot lie to him. When we hide and when we lie, we only deceive ourselves. Tell the truth, always. No matter how hard, uncomfortable, or inconvenient. Jackie is not alone. There are hundreds of thousands of people over the centuries that have lied in God’s name and profited from it, but it doesn’t mean they got away with it. Matthew 12:36-37, “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgement for every empty word they have spoken, For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” Whoa, to them! I honestly do not believe that these people truly understand what they are doing.
What are you lying about? How are you misleading people? Are you misrepresenting yourself? Repent now and turn. Lies are a very serious thing. I implore you, to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Anything less than that is a lie.