“What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself.” Ephesians 4:25 (MSG)
“A little lie never hurt anyone,” is the fake news of our day. The truth is that Satan, the father of lies, used this very deception from the beginning to convince Eve that God was holding out on her and didn’t really mean what He said. It was a lie that brought confusion and conflict in our world and alienated us from God and one another. One pastor put it like this: “Whenever we speak truth, the Spirit of God works, but whenever we tell a lie, Satan goes to work.” (Warren Wiersbe) In fact, the first sin that was judged in the early church was the sin of lying in Acts 5:1-11. Given our nature to lie, Paul writes to the churches in Ephesus and Colossae with a very similar charge: “Stop telling lies!”
“Tell your neighbor the truth. And notice the reason Paul gives for being truthful: In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other … When you lie to others, you are lying to yourself.” (Eph. 4:25)
Some people are so adept at lying that they have become professional liars. We call them politicians! You’ve no doubt heard the joke: “How do you know when a politician is lying?” “When you see their lips moving.”
Why do we lie? Because we’ve become more concerned with image than integrity. The truth is that God cares more about our integrity than our image. Integrity comes from a math term, “integer” meaning a whole number versus a fraction. When we lack integrity, our lives become fractured and fragmented. The Bible says,
“It is better to be a poor person who has integrity than to be rich and double-dealing.” Proverbs 28:26 (GWT)
What are you more concerned with in your life? Image or integrity? If you care more about what others think, image will be at the top. Image may impress others for a while; but, given time, the masks usually come off and our true self is revealed. While image may impress others, integrity will influence them. Integrity is who I am when no one is looking. Integrity is when my private life and my public image are the same.
Only God can take the brokenness of our lives and make us whole. Through Christ, we can live a life of integrity.