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Discovery Magazine 3/1/2004

The Trouble with Lying

Have you ever been tempted to lie? Maybe you did something you knew you were not supposed to do—like going somewhere after school rather than going straight home. When your mother asked you if you came straight home, you felt panicked and did not want to tell her the truth. Maybe in school, you were talking in class. When the teacher asked if you were the one talking, you were tempted to say, “no.” The urge to lie to avoid facing the consequences of our actions is a strong temptation.

The first evil action ever committed in the world was the lie that Satan told to Eve. Jesus said that Satan “is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44). And Cain lied when God asked him, “Where is Abel your brother?” (Genesis 4:9).

Lying is a very, very serious sin. When small children get into the habit of lying, it can set a pattern for life. It is not that serious when a little boy accidentally spills his milk on the table, or a little girl gets her dress dirty. But it is very important for children not to lie about such things. Children who get away with enough lies in their early years find it easy to tell lies as adults. They can become so comfortable with lying that it no longer bothers them to do so.

A Christian husband and wife (named Ananias and Sapphira) in the early church sold some land for a certain amount of money. They decided to give some of that money to the apostles to help needy Christians. It would have been okay to give only some of the money—if they would have been honest about it. But rather than telling the truth about giving only someof the money, they lied and said that they were giving allthe money they had received from the sale of the land. Peter accused them of lying to God (Acts 5:4). Both the husband and wife were struck dead that day for telling
the lie.

In our day, God does not strike people dead for lying. But lying is just as serious to Him. It is very important
for us always to tell the truth—even if doing so means we suffer or get into trouble. The Bible says: “All liars shall have their part in the lake which burnswith fire and brimstone” (Revelation 21:8).

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*Please keep in mind that Discovery articles are written for 3rd-6th graders.

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