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2 Steps to Overcome Lying

by Rebekah Prewitt, MA in Christian Counseling

"Where is Sarah, your wife?" the visitors asked.
"She's inside the tent," Abraham replied.
Then one of them said, "I will return to you about this time next year, and your wife, Sarah, will have a son!"
Sarah was listening to this conversation from the tent. Abraham and Sarah were both very old by this time, and Sarah was long past the age of having children. So she laughed silently to herself and said, "How could a worn-out woman like me enjoy such pleasure, especially when my master-my husband-is also so old?"
Then the Lord said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, 'Can an old woman like me have a baby?' Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son."
Sarah was afraid, so she denied it, saying, "I didn't laugh."
But the Lord said, "No, you did laugh."*

As in the case with Sarah, people are prone to lies. Have you ever told a lie? At some point, we all have. Perhaps you are concerned about how many lies you have told, but find that you are having a hard time breaking this habit. You may try not to lie, but over and over again, you find yourself doing it. How do we overcome telling lies? Before we answer this question, let's identify some things that might be important to know about lying.

  1. Lying started from the time you came out of the womb. You might be surprised to learn this because we often think of babies as innocent little creatures. Yet, the Bible tells us, "The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies" (Psalm 58:3). I find it interesting that we don't have to teach children how to tell lies, but we do have to teach them how to speak the truth.

  2. Lying is often a sister to fear. Think back on the cases when you have told lies. Was it not because you were afraid of either getting in trouble or afraid of what others might think of you? You were probably a lot like Sarah in the story above. Sarah was afraid when God questioned her, so what did she do? She lied. She denied that she laughed. It is interesting, but sometimes a lie can be told over something very small. Have you noticed that in your own life? As an example, you might lie over who left the mayo jar out. Lying is often accompanied by fear. You feel afraid, so you lie.

  3. Lying can be associated with greed. There was a couple in the New Testament who had sold a piece of their land and brought only a portion of the proceeds into the Church. When the Apostle Peter asked them how much they sold the land for, both the husband and the wife lied about the amount.** Greediness can be a terrible thing. Today, there are some people who, because of a few dollars, will lie about having some illness, how many children they have, or how much money they earn just so that they can get a check from the government.

  4. Lying can erect a habit in your life. You might say to yourself, Well, I am only going to lie this one time. Yet, the reality proves that this is impossible. You might tell lies every month if you want that check to roll in. You might tell lies over and over again to get yourself out of a jam or situation. You might lie because you feel pressured. You might tell a lie to fit in with those around you, lie on an application, lie about how you really feel, and the list can go on.

But, how does a child of God overcome lying? There are a couple of steps you must perform to overcome this problem of lying.

1st - Start by repenting. If you mean business with God, the Holy Spirit of God will remind you of the various times you have lied. When He does, bring each of those lies before God and tell Him, Lord, I repent for telling this lie. Pray a prayer like this, and mean it. Say, Dear Lord God, I repent for telling lies. I know that you hate lies. I ask that you will forgive me and cleanse me. Lord, help me to stop telling lies.

2nd - If you asked God to help you stop telling lies, He will. Now, you just have to learn how. Here is how He teaches us: Begin now by speaking the truth. I know that sounds really simple, but it works! Speaking the truth is like facing a mountain before you. It will seem very hard to do, and you will be afraid to do it. But remember, your God has the power to help you overcome every sinful habit in your life, and you can slay this lying giant. All you have to do is speak the truth. When you do actually speak the truth, trust me, it will liberate you. You will send that lying spirit packing, and you will start to feel clean inside. You might wonder, If I speak the truth, the consequences are great. You are right! Depending on the situation, you might end up looking real bad. You might feel shame. You might be rejected. A number of outcomes can result from you speaking the truth, but would you like to face the temporary consequences for you doing the right thing now or continue telling lies and go to a lost eternity forever? God says, "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death" (Revelation 21:8). Did you happen to notice that liars are in this list with all these others? My friend, lying is not a little thing in God's eyes. Over and over again, He tells us that He hates lying lips. Read the Psalms and Proverbs. Read Exodus 20. Read John 8.

I hope to see you on the other side as a victor. Jesus said, "He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death."

*(Genesis 18:12-15 NLT) **(Acts 5:1-11)

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