by Niki Turner
Do you remember the first time you told a lie? What about the first time you got caught in a lie? For the saved and unsaved alike, being branded a liar is not to be desired.
The Bible is abundantly clear on the subject of lying, deception, and falsehood. Simply put, lying is never OK—not "little white lies," or big blue lies, or any other shade of deception. Christians, followers of Christ, are to "speak the truth in love."
"Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator." Col 3:9-10 NIV
"Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body." Eph 4:25 KJV
But some of us are lying, and we don't even know it. ((shudder))
Through ignorance and laziness, we spread slander and gossip and malicious deception that generates fear and hatred and abuse. Ouch.
Have you ever gotten an e-mail from a trusted friend or family member that stirred up your righteous anger, or compassionate concern? Perhaps it was something from your chosen political party about the "other" side, or a frightening report about the dangers of a common household product, or a sad story about someone with a terminal illness whose last request in this life is to receive postcards from around the globe.
Maybe it wasn't sad. Maybe the e-mail was a beautiful reminder of how loved or beautiful you are simply because you are a child of God. And tucked away at the bottom was a little note that you have to send that message to at least ten of your nearest and dearest relatives in order to receive a blessing. Or a friendly request to leave your name at the end of an e-mail petition, with all participants promised to earn a check from a major manufacturer.
To this day I can't put on lipstick without wondering how much lead I'm consuming. I hesitate at the gas pump when it's 20 below zero, weighing the pros and cons of igniting fuel vapors by getting back in the car or having a frostbitten nose. I can't remember which number is supposed to appear on my plastic water container to ensure my health. Anything regarding the microwave is suspect, from heating water to using plastic wrap.
Shall we boycott e-mail? After all, the government is going to put a 5¢ charge on every e-mail soon! (Not true, by the way.) Or shall we follow the instructions of our Lord, who knew all about the kind of world in which we live?
"I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves." Matt 10:16 NIVIf anyone should be responsible, noble, and honest enough to seek out truth it should be Christians. So before you hit the "forward" button on that next e-mail, take a few minutes to check your facts, lest you be found inadvertently guilty of passing on a lie.
Snopes is a popular, and thorough, resource for validating many of the more common rumors, myths, and urban legends. FactCheck is a non-partisan site for political mumbo-jumbo that comes your way. TruthOrFiction has an index of information about everything from calls to action to the latest virus warning. You might be surprised at what's true, and what isn't.
And if something is just funny, or a really sweet story, or a reminder for your friends how much you love them, go ahead and send it. But be a good friend and let them know that what you are sharing is a fictional tale, a parable of sorts, and that they won't get $10 for sending it on, or suffer vile consequences for keeping it to themselves.
Now, forward this post to everyone you know and the wise turtle of great fortune will land on your head within 24 hours and...