Sometimes, I try so hard to ignore God.  Yes, I just started my blog post with that very bold, very awful statement.  I’ve never claimed to be perfect.  I put on no airs.  LOL

But all this week, I’ve known that God was wanting me to teach this Sunday, and honestly?  I’ve come up with every excuse I could to get out of it.  I’ve known the lesson, and quite honestly, I didn’t want to teach it.  It’s not a bad lesson or anything, I’ve just had to live it the last 2 weeks, and I quite frankly didn’t think I could teach it in a Godly fashion. 

Again….with that honesty thing.  {sigh}

No, literally……that honesty thing.

I’ve been on the receiving end of dishonesty and it hurts.  Truth be told (no pun intended), that’s why I didn’t want to teach this lesson, I’m hurt over the lies I am hearing said behind my back, and it’s painful.  It’s hard to teach a lesson to teenagers when you, yourself are in pain.  But, during my arguing with God over NOT teaching this lesson, He gave me a pretty compelling argument:  they need to learn this lesson now, as a teenager, to save someone else this pain when they are older. 

Ouch.

Gotcha.  Lord, I’ll teach it. 

So, where exactly does lying come from?  In Ephesians 4, Paul gives us the root of where lying (and our other behaviors that are not glorifying to God) comes from:  Ephesians 4:17-32

With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused.  Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him.  They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.

But that isn’t what you learned about Christ.  Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception.  Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.  Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body.  And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry,  for anger gives a foothold to the devil.

If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need.  Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.  Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

In a nutshell, or in Dana’s condensed version, lying (and stealing, foul language, bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, slander, and evil behavior) are part of our OLD life before we knew Christ.  When we lived in the darkness (without Christ), we desired our own sinful lusts and desires.  Can I put it a little more abrupt? 

John 8:44

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Lying is of the devil, and when you do it, you are speaking his words and not those of Christ.

Ouch.  That hurts, huh? 

Honesty is a direct reflection of your inner character. Your actions are a reflection of your faith, and reflecting the truth in your actions is a part of being a good witness.  And I believe that honesty is a reflection of your walk with God. 

Let me show you what Paul said:  Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

It is pretty difficult to live in Christ and reflect Him when you are deceitful and evil behind someone’s back.  And if you are not reflecting Christ…..who are you reflecting?  Yourself?  Satan? 

God gave us the way to the Truth:  Jesus.  And Christ gives us the ability to speak the truth, but it is our choice whether or not we live in Him or not.  And He very specifically commanded us to be honest in every way, but especially with fellow Christians (vs 25).

In Ephesians 6, Paul also gave us ways to live in truth:  prayer.

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

I believe we need to be loving and kind to others, especially to other believers.  He gave us the ability to do it, we just need to live it. 

We do not need to exaggerate a story to make it more compelling.  We do not need to put others down to lift ourselves up.  We just simply need to speak the truth in love. 

Ephesians 4:15
Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.

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