ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Religion and Philosophy»
  • Non-denominational Beliefs & Practices

Eric's Sunday Sermon; On The Matter of Lying

Updated on April 25, 2017

Beautiful from France

My son did a great job here, really!
My son did a great job here, really! | Source

Is anything really a lie?

You lie. It is hard for you to be honest. It is a matter of both nature and nurture. You simply lie. Let us examine that truth. Good and bad and warts and honey and all of it. Please keep in mind that there is absolutely no commandment against lying. Lying is not a sin in the 10 commandments area. For sure the Ninth commandment is this; Exodus 20:16: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”* Yes the easiest way to look at such a notion is to look at honesty first. Perhaps through that examination we can see lying at work.

Some honesty is good and some is bad. We know you were taught by your parental teacher that honesty is always good. Well maybe you were in one of those unfortunate households that kind of rely upon money from the government. That is a tough one because the way it works is really not that honest. Please hold that thought, we are talking of welfare fudgers.

Honesty is the relating of that which we believe is true. Being an honest person means that you hold that value and act accordingly. Be careful here because you might be relating what you think is true to yourself, and not so less frequently to your God. Mantras, prayers and self-affirmations are scary places to look for honesty.

In 12 step programs when people talk during a session they start by saying “My name is Eric and I am an” fill in the blank. Affirming that they have a condition, seemingly they become someone afflicted as their self-identity. I remember a group when I had cancer real bad, and they would introduce/identify themselves by the name of the cancer that they had, I only went once. I enjoy at parties to ask people “what are you?” – I know it is rude and I should say it more appropriately. But no one has ever baulked at telling me what they did for a living or being a homemaker like me. Now when asked back I love to say “I write sermons”. I do not say “I am a sermon writer”. What are you? “What I am” is critical to honesty yet no one really achieves full knowledge of who they are.

Honesty about who we are is our first step toward knowing when and why we lie. I self-deprecate. It is easy, normally offends no one. Normally it is a half-truth. But when someone needs my help I become Eric who is the best that can be found. Does reality shift thereby excusing harsh honesty and lying?

*At the time it took two straight up witnesses to convict another of a wrong – like a modern day evidence statute.

What's love got to do with it? What's truth have to do with it?

I like this because the cliffs appear Vermillion

And that is their name - who would think naming something that is true to what it is?
And that is their name - who would think naming something that is true to what it is? | Source

Don't let me tell you what is true, but I can tell you what I think is true.

Thanks for sticking with us as we laid some fundamentals down. It would seem that gratitude and appreciation are real good places to find honesty. It is a boom bada bing deal. We just feel grateful and thankful sometimes after someone gives us a blessing. And then we say thanks. It is like no thought involved. That part just is not filtered through thought or ego. Here is a funny one. I have to teach my son to say thank you and please. My wife is of the opine that those words are unnecessary. She holds a position that they are done by the obvious of action. Interesting don’t you think? If I accept your kindness it is automatic that I appreciate it – total truth. No words.

I wrote some song lyrics back in my purple haze college days. They went like this “lie to me, do not tell me that you don’t love me. For it will take what I have left and leave me adrift” Isn’t that a sad notion? And yet we live it day to day. We require that others are not brutally honest with us. And that probably is very sad.

This is what I consider loving. Be harsh with me. And then take the time to be with me and work it through with me. Say it and then help me to get it. I do not want to go through life wrong. I want friends who voice their truths to me so that I might better understand “the” truth. But when it is hard I want some hand holding. Is that too much to ask?

We often think of white lies as bad. Should we? What people seldom empathize with is that white lies are hard on us. Just the act of speaking that which we know not to be true is hard on a normal person. We are conditioned to not lie and so when we do it feels bad. So we wonder about who we are and if we are right with that. Sometimes painful.

I must tell the truth; if you do not tap your foot to this, something is wrong.

Just a path no more no less

There are no good brothers or bad brothers, there are just brothers
There are no good brothers or bad brothers, there are just brothers | Source

This is not reality anarchy, I believe in many truths. If you do not stand for something you will fall for anything.

For traditionalists wouldn’t it have been kinder for the ninth commandment to say thou shalt not lie. Then we would not have this matter of determining when it is OK to lie and when it is not. And that brings us back to ourselves. I just can’t help lying to myself. It is tough. Perhaps the future is where I lie the most. My insides will tell me that “it will fail”. Harsh judgment and prediction that 90% of the time is false. Anticipatory anxiety over a matter that really only effects my surface level of self-esteem. And yet the truth be told I like the response to my failures as much as my victories. Being consoled is really kind of nice. Sympathy is a nice thing to receive.

For us chocolate addicts we lie hard to ourselves. “Oh just one bite won’t hurt me” knowing full damn well I will eat the whole box of chocolates once I start. One of my favorite lies to myself is “I do not care what others think”. Balderdash! How about “I will…. Tomorrow?” “I shoulds” and “I can’ts” are my most frequent lies.

So how can a man of such perpetual lying be honest with his best friend? I think the biggest impediment here is that it just takes so much time to be honest and then understanding. We may not lie, but we do not always tell the truth because of the inconvenience and disruption to our lives. And then we sooner or later see that the lack of telling the truth has damaged our relationship.

To lie or not to lie, that is the question. Whether it be noble to tell the truth and immediately suffer the consequences or noble to lie and put them off.

I hope that we can reflect on these hard issues. I reckon I do not expect answers coming down like manna from heaven. Somewhere along the line we all have to take responsibility for our decisions regarding truth. It does come down to love. We had better make sure that our choices on lying are not based on love of self but rather the wonderful communal love that we cherish. If my lying breaks the connection of love between me and another and me and my God, it is wrong. We must at least consider the larger picture. Go ahead you rapscallions blame me next time you lie, my shoulders are broad enough to carry it.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dora, indeed we can judge that lying is wrong. But very hard for us to judge if the liar was wrong. There is a notion in the law that goes like this "deceit must be relied upon to a detriment before it is actionable".

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 months ago from The Caribbean

      We lie for various reasons, and lying is not to be encouraged. However, if you're saying that someone's lying is not for another to judge, then I agree. Rahab lied flat out when she hid the 'spies' on her rooftop, but she was neither applauded nor condemned for it. There were weightier matters to deal with in that scenario. God, and God alone has all the facts; that qualifies Him and Him alone to pass judgment.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Me to Lori, and I just found it looking for songs about lying.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 3 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      I really dig the Stevie Ray Vaughn video. No lie.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I like that Linda. As I have been looking at responses it sure seems like a case by case issue as your comment illustrates. It seems that our character will be a prime factor in if we get it right or wrong. Thank you.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 3 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric - I think there are two different types of lies--but only one is a sin. Here are two examples:

      (1) Your best friend/spouse/etc. has just gotten a new haircut. Something totally different, and decidedly hideous. They ask your opinion. You have two options--you can be completely blunt and tell them that they look like the south end of a horse headed north, or you can find SOMETHING positive to say about their new "look."

      (2) You cheat on your income taxes, or on your partner. You are using your grandmother's handicapped parking license, even though she has been dead for 6 months. I'm sure you get my point.

      In the first scenario you could have told the honest, unvarnished truth, and you would have hurt someone. This is a lie, but it was done out of love for someone else. In the second scenario you are being dishonest so that you can personally profit. This, my friend, is a lie and nothing but a lie and (in my opinion) is a sin.

      What do you think?

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Tom Carson: "Lying and Deception: Theory and Practice" comes at it from a business perspective. I would suggest just reading a review of it as it is a slogger of a book. I prefer to come at it more like "Honest to God" with Walsch. I kind of would like to write more on the matter as it is fascinating. And Lori's comment makes me go past the good and bad and step into -- if it is a sin, how and when is it a sin?

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Lori, Of course your point is well taken. I wonder what happens along your line of thinking when a lie must be made in order to be in sync with the two commandments upon the ones yours hang to be obeyed. To my mind condemnation of lying would not occur in those instances. And what of the man with such low self-esteem that he just cannot see how good he is and therefor lies of his worth. To my mind Solomon's writings are guides.

      Your comment is just great. Such good stuff to contemplate and pray on.

      And on a further note you can read the Book of Wisdom in Bibles that contain that book and there is a ton more stuff about lying and how bad it is.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ann, lying is really interesting. No matter what you have to decide circumstance by circumstance at the time. The ultimate thinking on your feet thing. I just love that term "porkies" it just makes me smile as do you Ann, thank you.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 months ago from SW England

      I've told some porkies and some little white lies. The little white lies are sometimes to save someone an embarrassment or feeling bad about themselves but then perhaps we should say something which is nice without answering a question too directly. e.g. "Do I look good in this?" "I think that colour looks great on you." Or is that obvious avoidance & therefore cowardly?!

      Great sermon, as ever, Eric!

      Ann

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 3 months ago from Escondido, CA

      An interesting topic for a sermon and inspiring too. Inspiring in the sense I went to Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy seeing a treatise The Definition of Lying and Deception. Uh-oh! I see for me a Pandora's Box ;-) Will I read it? To be honest . . . I dun'no. First, is digesting this sermon.

      I was captivated by "Honesty is the relating of that which we believe is true." you penned. That makes good sense in my eyes. The other line that gave me pause is "We are conditioned to not lie and so when we do it feels bad." I will be using those for my journaling later for my pondering. Off I go on that adventure . . .

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 3 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      Actually, the Bible has tons to say about lying. As a matter of fact, Satan is called the father of lies and the deceiver of the brethren. In fact he started the ball rolling in the garden. Proverbs in several places says lying is one of the sins God hates most because God is truth. Proverb 12:22 says the Lord hates lying lips. There are many more where that came from and there are many instances of people who lied and made a mess of things and God was not happy and their were consequences.

      That said, you are right that human beings lie all the time. It's the sinful nature for us. Following Christ should make us hate lying. But sometimes we do and we ask God to forgive and help us.

      BUT if your wife asks you, "Honey, do these jeans make my butt look big?" LIE or duck.

      I find it causes great torment when my thoughts lie to me. I am this bad thing, this bad thing is going to happen, yada yada. My medication and meditation are God's word. I always get the truth.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks Clive and in my humble opinion you are lying -- it is a great write ;-)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Eric, I think you can watch the full movie on you tube, and it's free!

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Ruby, it is always good to hear from you. Me too on the meditation. I have got to get back at it. Never saw the movie. I think I will. thanks

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 months ago from Southern Illinois

      When I went to see the movie, ' What's love got to do with it ' and saw how Tina overcame her fear by mediating, I started to mediate. I don't do it as much now, but I should. I could've lied and said that I do it everyday. I even downloaded her OM so I could learn the words to use. Love is what life is all about, and your sermon is a wonderful lesson on how to function. Sometimes a half-truth is ok, just leave the hurtful out. Thanks again..

    • The0NatureBoy profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 3 months ago from Washington DC

      The other 180 degrees of "Is anything really a lie" is "Is anything really true." Every prophecy we ever told but wasn't fulfilled to our knowing is a lie and makes my question valid.

      Since "thou shalt not lie" is not a commandment lies are justified under certain conditions. Ecclesiastes 3:1's "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven" tells us there's justification for doing every conceivable opposite. That suggests "All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any" (1 Cor. 96:12) and "All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not" in 1 Cor. 10:32. That is why it is not a commandment.

      That bring to mind "when is it appropriate to lie."

      My answer: lies may be told when everyone realizes they are for entertainment; when doing so they do not cause harm to another; when interpreting a vision spirit has revealed as something which does not come to pass as interpreted and when to lie or withhold the truth benefits man-en-mass. [The official 9/11 report is an example of lies NOT benefiting man-in-mass.]

      As for "Don't let me tell you what is true, but I can tell you what I think is true" it's all we can actually until we are able to see the earth's whole 360 degrees of all its subject matters. The last phrase brings "is that actually possible" to mind which brings "do we or when will we know the 360 degrees of earth's subject matters."

      It is my belief that once we complete the "new birth's" metamorphosis and become whole we will be afforded a vision of the whole and once we "are raptured" we will live here on earth and observe man's entire cycle at which time we will know. Yet, the plane where we will be will require, if we speak there, for lies or miss information to be told which we will not comprehend until we have graduated from that plane and continue on through eternity.

      That is the answer I have coming "up" from heaven within me (Luke 17:21) to spread to those able to ingest it, brother Eric.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Manatita, be assured that your comments like this one are always welcome here at the congregation of Eric's Sermons :-)

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill I think you are quite right. People without the determination to be better are quite common. That is why I suggest church of some sort for most. If they aren't self starters at least that little effort can help them along the way. I think cynicism in the right dose is healthy. At least in your case. Thank you.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Manatita, what a great addition to this sermon. I am now working on expansion and contraction of truth. I think you touched on that well. Thank you.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 3 months ago from london

      Funny Bill,

      I just wrote you a cute little piece on Hope and I come here and you are talking about it. Cute!

      Pardon me, Eric.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I've got no answers other than love. I do the best I can do to be a better person. Do you think all people do that? I personally doubt it. I hope that doesn't sound cynical but rather realistic. But I have hope...always hope...and that ain't no lie. :)

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 3 months ago from london

      'You are already pretty good, but you're going to be better.' Yes, Its worth tapping my feet too. The acoustics are awesome!

      A great Hub and a very interesting topic. I'm on your side here and I believe you speak the language of the Seers. Honesty can vary so much! Perhaps I can add a little here:

      Honesty is the relating of that which we believe is true ... even though it may be honest to distort it sometimes. So a man takes shelter in your house and 5 mins later the killer with a gun comes your way saying: 'Did you see a man run this way?'

      You say, yes, but point in the direction away from you and the house, like they do in movies. Only you will be saving another's life.

      It does eventually come down to Love, as you so rightly state ... of seeing the larger picture. Therein lies the truth, perhaps ...

      A fine piece of positive debate.