WHAT’S BEHIND IT ALL?
These people violated some basic commandments. Here are some of them:
He who guards his mouth and his tongue, guards his soul from troubles (Proverbs 21:23).
And I say to you, that every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned (Matthew 12:36-37).
He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him (Proverbs 18:13).
If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless (James 1:26).
GRIPING AND COMPLAINING (ROAST BOSS FOR LUNCH)
Three men who worked together shared a common distaste for their jobs. Every day at the lunch table, they would rehash the rude comments their boss fired at them and discuss with one another how much they despised him.
Their boss was indeed a very difficult man to live with. I suppose everyone sooner or later faces the problem of what to do with a difficult person in life. The Bible says:
Do all things without grumbling or disputing (Philippians 2:14).
A perverse man spreads strife, and a slanderer separates intimate friends (Proverbs 16:28).
…malign no one, to be uncontentious, gentle, showing every consideration for all men (Titus 3:2).
These men were chipping away at their own self-respect by their choice of a subject at the lunch table.
LYING AND DECEIVING (ADVICE FROM A GOLF EXPERT)
Gordy was golfing with Al, who was a par player. On the way to the course, Gordy explained that he was just an occasional golfer and not very good. Al offered to give Gordy some tips as they went along. The offer was accepted.
At first, Gordy appreciated the help.
Watch your head…now…you need a little more grass on that shot…raise your left shoulder…keep your eye on the ball…you should use a different club.
On and on went the instructions, until Gordy was getting knots in his stomach. All he really wanted was to knock the ball around the course.
“Want another tip?” Al asked.
Instead of admitting that he was already confused and annoyed, Gordy replied:
“Sure I do. It’s not often I get to play with someone who can help my game. You are a good teacher.”
His deception and flattery needlessly put him in a position that spoiled his whole day.
LYING TO THE DIRECTOR
The work director of a college had summoned a student to tell him of a job opening. Before sending him to this assignment, however, the director wanted to clear up a report that this student had been disorderly on various occasions.
The student denied the report and was given the assignment. A week later, he returned to admit that the report was true.
He had been in torment for a week. Even if it meant losing the work opportunity, he wanted to get the record straight.
DECEIVING HIS FRIENDS
Steve created an unnecessary situation for himself. He was visiting some friends who in turn took him to visit some of their friends. It came time for supper.
“We can go out to eat if you like,” said the hostess. “We have every kind of restaurant you can think of around here. Or, since I’ve made some vegetable soup today, we can stay home and eat that. It makes no difference to me which we do. Since Steve is our guest, and we don’t know what he has eaten today, let’s let him decide.”
That’s a tough spot for a guest. Steve answered with a question:
“Does anyone have anything against staying here and eating soup?” All four people said they’d just as soon stay home.
“Great,” said Steve. “Then let’s just stay here and eat soup.”
On the way home from the visit, Steve said to his friends:
“Boy, can I get something to eat? I didn’t have any lunch today, and if you noticed, I didn’t eat much. I hate soup—especially vegetable soup.”
His friends were astounded.
“Why, Steve, we asked you if you wanted something else. Do you think we didn’t mean it?”
“Well, I didn’t want to offend or inconvenience anyone,” Steve said. Instead of gaining admiration for his “sacrificial” choice, his friends wondered when they could believe Steve.
DECEPTION LED TO TENSION
Mrs. Merton was referred to me by her physician because a reasonable prescription for “nerves” was not helping.
She finally admitted to me that she had lent her car to a friend, who was involved in an accident with the car.
Knowing that her husband would be furious because she had loaned out the car, Mrs. Merton decided to tell him she had been in the accident.
To deceive her husband was simple enough, but she hadn’t anticipated the complications: coaching her friend on what to say, keeping her husband away from the collision shop, and slipping police reports past him.
It became especially complicated when the repairs were made poorly and required two extra visits to the garage, which involved the insurance agent over and over again. The cover-up resulted in unbearable and unnecessary tensions for Mrs. Merton.
I frequently listen to people explain their reasons for lying on the grounds that if they were to speak the truth, the other person would hate them, get angry, or have hurt feelings.
What a delusion to assume that the key to good fellowship is lying and deceit. On the other side of the coin, my clients tell me how disappointed they are when they discover they have been deceived or lied to.
Sir Walter Scott penned two pithy lines that caught my attention:
Oh, what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practice to deceive!
It is easy to understand why such seemingly insignificant incidents are so disturbing to people when they are aware of what the Bible has to say about lying and deception:
Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who deal faithfully are His delight (Proverbs 12:22).
Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put devious lips far from you (Proverbs 4:24).
There are six things which the LORD hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers (Proverbs 6:16-19).
A lying tongue hates those it crushes, and a flattering mouth works ruin (Proverbs 26:28).