Lies Do Not Become Us
“Lies do not become us.” You may or may not recall that line from the movie Princess Bride. Irrespective of its origin, however, it is a true statement indeed. We are all familiar with the account of Ananias and his wife Sapphira – their lie did not look good on them. From the account comes this, “But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?’” (Acts 5:3). It would be better stated to say, “Why have you allowed Satan to fill your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit?” Their collaborative lie was so spiritually unbecoming that it cost them their lives.
God hates lies. Solomon spoke of a lying tongue as one of seven abominations that God hates, because of their source. To some Pharisees, Christ said, “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44). Satan does not stand for the truth, except by deception when he wants to move people away from God and to himself. To speak from his own resources means that he disregards God and His law. Hence, there is no genuine truth in him. He lives a lie and inspires all those he can to do the same.
Through satanic inspiration, it is likely that Ananias and Sapphira became blinded to what they consciously chose to do.“While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God” (Acts 5:4). All lies, whether in the letter or in the spirit, are the antithesis of God’s faithful and truthful character that thankfully can never be questioned.
How much of what we see in the world around us is unquestionably true? Can we trust the character, and therefore, the words of people in political office or of those seeking it? When someone says, “Peace, peace”, in the face of growing conflict everywhere, can we believe it? When someone says “all the right words” even though the fruits of their lives don’t bear them out, can we believe them? Lies will be found wherever corruption, destruction, sorrow and death are found.
Because our God’s character is true and faithful, we have great consolation in coming out of this world. “Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began” (Titus 1:1-2). Our hope of eternal life is certain because our God cannot lie. Ananias and Sapphira once had that same hope – but failed. We must understand and therefore learn from their example.