Lying And The New Morality

 We are a nation of liars. This statement is not so much an opinion, as it is the conclusion of researchers regarding the speech patterns of many in our nation. Surveys tell us 91% of Americans believe there is nothing wrong with lying, depending on the circumstances. Two out of three people surveyed do not necessarily agree with the adage, "Honesty is the best policy." Most people lie to others once or twice a day and deceive about 30 people a week. People lie in up to 38% of interactions. While exact numbers are hard to come by, researchers assure us most people lie in everyday conversations. The conclusion drawn is people make up the rules as they go. People live without absolutes, taking a relativistic approach to life.

 The issue of truth is nothing new. When Jesus stood before Pilate, he testified, "'Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end have I been born, and to this end am I come into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.' Pilate saith unto him, 'What is truth?'" (John 18:37-38, ASV). Pilate was looking at truth when he looked at Jesus. Earlier Jesus told His disciples, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). This should not surprise us, for God is truth (Titus 1:2).

 What is the problem with lying? For one thing, it destroys trust, which is the foundation that societies and relationships are built on. When lying is the rule, and not the exception, how can you depend on others, or they on you? When you make up the rules as you go, what right do you have to get upset when others deal dishonestly with you?  It is just the fruit such a practice bears. Character is lost, and in the process, so is one's self-respect.

 What is another problem with lying? It is sinful and ungodly. How can one reconcile a holy and true God with a lying tongue? Do we think, because it seems ingrained in our nation's psyche, God will overlook it? Perhaps we should rethink passages such as Eph. 4:25; "Wherefore, putting away falsehood, speak ye truth each one with his neighbor: for we are members one of another." Or, what about Rev. 21:8; "But for the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, their part shall be in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death." God's Word remains true, whether we do or not (John 17:17).

 Maybe we should rethink what we feel we gain, and what we definitely lose, when we yield to the temptation to lie. Instead of falsehood being part of the new morality, of modern culture, truth should be highly valued and sought diligently because of the value it possesses in holding society together. Like the writer of Proverbs encourages, let us "Buy the truth, and sell it not; Yea, wisdom, and instruction, and understanding" (Prov. 23:23). We will be the better for it, today, and eternally.

 Robert Johnson, Longview, TX