Little White Lie Syndrome

Prov. 6:16-17

16 ​These six things does the LORD hate: yes, seven are an abomination unto him:
17 ​A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 ​A heart that devises wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19 ​A false witness that speaks lies, and he that sows discord among brethren.

I was thinking about the past recently when the the LORD reminded me of some choice lies I found especially easy to utter at the moment in question. As I pondered that particular situation from so many years ago, memories of other lies I have told began flooding my mind. I was soon overwhelmed by the realization of how many time I have lied in my almost 56 years of life.

Lying is so easy to do. In fact, most of us do it so often that we don’t even realize it. I call this habit of chronic lying ‘little white lie syndrome’ (LWLS). Almost all of us are afflicted with it at some point. Some of us struggle with it throughout our entire lives. But the fact is that God makes no distinction between what we would consider little white lies and ‘big’ lies. They are all lies to him. And as the text in Prov. 6 demonstrates, God hates them.

We don’t tend to think of lying as a big sin. It’s not a major crime to us. But did you notice all seven things God hates as described in Prov. 6:16-17? Lying is lumped together with some pretty bad stuff — murder included! It may not be a big deal to us, but it’s a big deal to the LORD.

It’s never okay to lie. It’s as simple as that. So if you struggle with a lying tongue, I have two tips for you:

  • Stop talking so much. The less you speak, the less likely you are to lie. As an added benefit, less talking gives you more opportunity to listen. Incidentally, this tip comes highly recommended from James 1:19-20
  • Bathe your mind with Scripture. Jesus proclaimed God’s Word to be truth, and the best way to counteract a lie is to replace it with the truth. Fill your heart and mind with the Word and you will find it easier to avoid lying.

Friends, we all lie. But that’s no excuse to keep doing it. The simple fact of the matter is that God hates a lying tongue. He has no room for lying in his economy. We all need to make a concerted effort to stop lying once and for all.