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Sentence Sermons (Christian Inspiration) #72 --- Lies
Quotations on Lies
Lying supplies those who are addicted to it with a plausible apology for every crime, and with a supposed shelter from every punishment. It tempts them to rush into danger, from the mere expectation of impunity; and, when practiced with frequent success, it teaches them to confound the gradations of guilt, from the effects of which there is, in their imaginations, at least one sure and common protection. It corrupts the early simplicity of youth; it blasts the fairest blossoms of genius, and will most assuredly counteract every effort by which we may hope to improve the talents and mature the virtues of those whom it infects.
---Theophile Meerschaert, The Indian Advocate, Sacred Heart, Okla., June 1901.
The whitest lie that was ever uttered is not one whit whiter than the black devil that inspired it. A lie is never justifiable, and there is no such thing as a white lie. All forms of untruth are lies, and are abominable before God, differing only in the nature of the deception. When I by a hint, a look of gesture, or a significant silence, give a wrong impression, I am guilty of lying. Or, if I speak a half truth and suppress the other half, I speak a lie. If you find it is necessary to your business to lie, better let that business go by the boards and die a pauper. The liar places himself outside the circle of God’s power to save.
---Thomas K. Anderson, Omaha Daily Bee, Omaha, Neb., Sept. 2, 1901.
Lying is more than a weakness or a fault; it is a grievous sin which offends God. Backbiting is also a grave misdeed. Those guilty of ths offense take advantage of their fellowmen in a cowardly manner by defaming, criticizing, belittling, and vilifying those who are not present to defense themselves. Evil speaking parallels lying and backbiting. It is spoken with intent to bring harm to others. It gives false impressions. It destroys confidences. It plants the seeds of suspicion, doubt and discord.
—Lee A. Palmer, Improvement Era, Salt Lake City, Utah, July 1952.
Every liar is the devil’s wife, and every lie is the devil’s child—born in the heart and delivered by the mouth. If you are married to the devil in the lying business you’d better get a divorce at once.
---Daniel H. Tuttle, The Progressive Farmer, Winston, N.C., Feb. 18, 1896.
The father of lies has the biggest family in the world.
---Elijah Powell Brown, Carney Enterprise, Carney, Okla., March 29, 1912.
A lie always has a dagger in its hand, no matter how well meaning it may look.
---Elijah Powell Brown, El Paso Times, El Paso, Texas, Dec. 15, 1893.
A lie is always a few shades blacker than the sin it tries to hide.
---Elijah Powell Brown, Juniata Sentinel and Republican, Mifflintown, Pa., Sept. 13, 1893.
It never takes a liar long to blind himself with his tongue.
---Elijah Powell Brown, Talihina News, Talihina, Okla., June 21, 1894.
A falsehood is an untruth; a lie is a malicious falsehood.
---Elijah Powell Brown, Taylor County News, Abilene, Texas, Feb. 23, 1894.
A lie is the devil’s sign that he is still doing business in about the neighborhood.
---Elijah Powell Brown, Syracuse Courier, Syracuse, N.Y., May 6, 1897.
A lie is always an enemy, no matter how well meaning it may look.
---Elijah Powell Brown, Sioux County Herald, Orange City, Iowa, April 12, 1893.
A lie is a loan on which you never cease to pay manifold interest.
---Elijah Powell Brown, The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash., Jan. 25, 1903.
All truth is nonsense to the man who has let a lie make its home in his heart.
---Elijah Powell Brown, Taylor County News, Abilene, Texas, May 3, 1895.
A lie trembles all over whenever it discovers that truth is on its track.
---Elijah Powell Brown, Salt Lake Herald, Salt Lake City, Utah, Feb. 23, 1896.
To talk behind someone’s back is to lie to his face.
---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Sept. 2, 1956.
Telling one lie to escape the consequences of another is about as effective as committing suicide to escape execution.
---E.W. “Ed” Howe, Atchison Daily Globe, Atchison, Kan., April 23, 1909
Nearly everyone is a liar when indignant.
---E.W. “Ed” Howe, St. Joseph Gazette, St. Joseph, Mo., June 9, 1929.
No one should deceive himself concerning falsehood. A lie is always a terrible loss of time, to integrity, to character and to the ultimate progress of the individual. So weak-minded as to give utterance to it. Truth has no false steps to retract.
---Frank Hilton Greer, Oklahoma State Capital, Guthrie, Okla., March 22, 1911.
Calling a person a liar is usually the action taken to dodge one’s own unsoundness.
---Frank Hilton Greer, Oklahoma State Capital, Guthrie, Okla., April 24, 1908.
The most notorious liar on earth gets credit for telling the truth from anybody he says something nice to.
---Frank Hilton Greer, Oklahoma State Capital, Guthrie, Okla., April 29, 1908.
The man who is addicted to white lies soon becomes color blind.
---Frank Hilton Greer, Oklahoma State Capital, Guthrie, Okla., Aug. 17, 1909.
It’s a whole lot easier to tell the truth than it is to keep a lie whitewashed.
---Frank Hilton Greer, Oklahoma State Capital, Guthrie, Okla., Dec. 24, 1910.
The bigger liar a man could be the madder he could get for being called one.
---Frank Hilton Greer, Oklahoma State Capital, Guthrie, Okla., Sept. 29, 1910.
The biggest liar in the bunch always starts out: “Well, gentlemen, to tell you the truth . . .”
---Henry Edward Warner, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond, Va., April 16, 1919.
The liar allows no margin for comebacks.
---Henry Edward Warner, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond, Va., Jan. 6, 1921.
The liar gets so used to it that truth sounds like fiction.
---Henry Edward Warner, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond, Va., June 4, 1921.
The liar joy-rides when he tells the truth.
---Henry Edward Warner, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond, Va., July 2, 1921.
The liar meets himself on Crooked Lane.
---Henry Edward Warner, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond, Va., Sept. 12, 1922.
The liar never enjoys being caught telling the truth.
---Henry Edward Warner, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond, Va., Oct. 30, 1922.
There may be many kinds of liars, but they all use the same system.
---Henry Edward Warner, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond, Va., March 30, 1922.
A liar never falls in love with truth.
---Henry Edward Warner, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond, Va., June 5, 1922.
The liar always assures you solemnly of his truthfulness.
---Henry Edward Warner, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond, Va., Sept. 14, 1922.
The liar is always suspicious of honest men.
---Henry Edward Warner, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond, Va., Dec. 24, 1922.
If you tell the truth, you have infinite power supporting you; but if not, you have infinite power against you.
---Charles George Gordon, Gilboa Monitor, Gilboa, N.Y., March 11, 1915.
It takes only a short distance from the truth to make a lie.
-‑‑E.V. White, Clarendon News, Clarendon, Texas, Jan. 3, 1935.
Freedom of speech is not a license to lie.
‑‑‑E.V. White, Clarendon News, Clarendon, Texas, April 22, 1937.
It’s easy to lose your standing by lying.
---Carl A. Wilhelm, The Telegraph-Herald, Dubuque, Iowa, Feb. 12, 1929.
The truth may sometimes be painful, but so is the little white lie if you’re caught in it.
---John Merrill Chilcote, St. Joseph News-Press, St. Joseph, Mo., Feb. 27, 1964.
A half-truth can frequently do more damage than an outright lie.
---John Merrill Chilcote, St. Joseph News-Press, St. Joseph, Mo., Jan. 1, 1966.
The half-truth outclasses the plain lie as a trouble-maker.
---William Jennings Bryan, The Daily Standard Union, Brooklyn, N.Y., Oct. 24, 1912.
To err is human; also to lie about it.
---Bennett Wilson “B.W.” Peck, Fulton County News, McConnelsburg, Pa., July 8, 1903.
A lie is never necessary to the brave; it is the resort of cowards.
---Charles Smurthwaite, The Acorn, Ogden, Utah, June 1904.
Trying to maintain a certain image must be every bit as tough as living a lie.
With the lie, you have to do a playback on everything you intend to say in order to make sure it isn’t something which will trap you. Every move you make is oriented to that lie.
Likewise, if you think that you present, say, a supra-intellectual image, you have to think out every move and statement ahead of time–all bearing on that image you have created. ...
Letting phrases march out in anything but perfect syntax would ruin the whole bit–or so you think if you’re one of those dedicated to am image.
—Bill Copeland, Sarasota Journal, Sarasota, Fla., Oct. 14, 1965.
Truth stands alone, but falsehood must always be supported by other falsehoods.
—Amos Clary, Religious Herald, Richmond, Va., Aug. 4, 1938.
A lie doesn’t become the truth because it is often told. There are some weak-minded people who will believe a lie after it has been told five hundred times, who had not thought of believing it when it was told at first.
—J.B. Cranfill, Baptist Standard, Dallas, Texas, Sept. 17, 1903.
There are no white lies. Every lie is as black as hell. Only the truth is white.
—J.B. Cranfill, Baptist Standard, Dallas, Texas, April 28, 1904.
Some people lie because they are too cowardly to speak the truth, they dare not face the consequences of their actions. Never imagine that you can be a liar and be respectable, even if others do respect you; you cannot respect yourself. No liar has any self-respect, for if you lie you are compelled to live with a liar.
—J.T. Edwards, The Religious Herald, Richmond, Va., Nov. 25, 1943.
It takes less than two half-truths to make a full sized lie.
—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., March 5, 1905.
Lying is usually a plan of hiding one blemish with a bigger one.
—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., March 1, 1908.
When a man deliberately tells a lie for the purpose of hurting his fellowman he is in type a murderer. He that kills the body knifes but clay, but he who with a cutting tongue assassinates the reputation of his fellowman kills that alone which gives one social standing and the friendship of his fellowman. Take my body and heaven has my soul, but take my peace of mind and I am in hell on earth.
—A.J. Gearheard, The Shreveport Times, Shreveport, La., June 1, 1919.
Lying in any form undermines the structure of society. One false word makes our whole society weaker and more unstable. It introduces divisive forces, creates dissension, and destroys harmony. Most people want to get along, understand one another and live peaceably together, but this is impossible when people do not trust each other.
—Alfred A. Knox, The Louisiana Methodist, Little Rock, Ark., Aug. 25, 1956.
The practice of lying is one way man has of weaving a web of enslavement from which he may never escape. Lying may seem to be the easy way at the time, but in the long run it is the hard way.
—Bob Wear, Amarillo Daily News, Amarillo, Texas, Oct. 16, 1956.
A lie is always cowardly, but when it is directed against another it runs into the law of God, which is against him who is against his neighbor.
—J.P. Allen, The Religious Herald, Richmond, Va., Jan. 17, 1946.
Lying is the commonest sin of all sins–and the most ruinous. More people lie than commit any other one sin. It can take more shapes, sizes, colors and qualities than any of the rest. It generally enters into all the rest, either in denying their existence or seeking to justify their commission. When a man commits any other sin he is usually prepared to lie about it. The devil is the father but it has a great many mothers. Plenty of people seem willing to mother it.
—P.I. Lipsey, Baptist Record, Jackson, Miss., Feb. 24, 1916.
Lying is made up of three parts: untruth, intention and deception. A man may tell a falsehood, and at the same time appear to be telling the whole truth. In other words, the facts may be so presented as to deceive the other party, and the party relating the facts intending, at the time, to deceive. A literal promise may itself be carried out, and yet deceive and be a falsehood. ... At the beginning lying is largely a habit, but when it is continued, the habit becomes fixed and the liar goes so far that he is unable to discriminate between truth and falsehood. His heart may even become so hard that he actually rejoices in falsehood.
—J.W. Lowber, Austin Daily Statesman, Austin, Texas, March 19, 1906.
The most dangerous person is the liar.
---Frank Crane, The Chicago Daily News, Chicago, Ill., Sept. 2, 1920.
A man should never do anything that he has to lie about to his wife or his mother.
—J.B. Cranfill, Baptist Standard, Waco, Texas, Dec. 29, 1894.
Lying is the sacrifice of honor to create a wrong impression. It is masquerading in misfit virtues. Lies are cowardly, fearsome things that must travel in battalions. They are like a lot of drunken men, one vainly seeking to support another. Lying is a partner and accomplice of all the other crimes. It is the cancer of moral degeneracy in an individual life.
—Heber J. Grant, Deseret Evening News, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 29, 1909.
Nothing else is quite so despicable and cowardly as a lie, and it is an added iniquity to befoul another with an untruth. There is no other armor so strong as truth, none other that will turn aside the shafts of envy, hatred, malice and all the rest of the great horde of iniquities, as will the simple unadorned truth.
—J. Reuben Clark, Jr., Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 28, 1950.
The liar will not only prey upon the living, but, coward that he is, will descend to te homes of the dead, and serpentlike, shoot his poison over the crumbling bones. The liar stabs silently and secretly and stabs unto death.
—Timothy Brennan, Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City, Utah, Feb. 14, 1910.
All deception is falsehood and tends to destroy character. The fact that it is often conceded to be a legitimate part of business does not destroy its poison. It is not a legitimate part of business, but the enemy of honor and permanent success. A successful sale never justified a lie, for the lie caused the loss of a good customer, and transformed one who gladly supported you into one who warned others to stay away from your dishonest dealings. Deception is a serpent’s egg that hatches not one serpent, but a brood of hissing adders that creep and crawl through your entire business and social life. One lie makes many. Once begun there is no end to the scourge. The stern competition of the modern business world demands clean, pure blood, untainted with the poison of deception. Dishonesty is always a serpent’s egg.
I have never been able to contradict the statement that the man who lies will steal, and that both sins spring from the same root, possess the same characteristics, and bear exactly the same fruit. The man who lies deceives for a purpose, if he were an honest man he would not lie. The man who steals will even perjure himself upon the witness stand. These twain are one in God’s sight and whenever a man yields his lips to falsehood and his hands to theft, he has untied hand and lip in a wedlock whose offspring is more deadly than viper. What a contemptible thing it is to steal, to take possession of that which does not belong to one! ...
Compare the joy of honest earning and the same of dishonesty and see if it pays. The joyous consciousness of being an honest man far surpasses all the pleasures that stolen money can purchase. But dishonesty hatches into something worse than sorrow. It hatches into dishonest, disgrace and failure. No man can succeed in business today who is not strictly honest. Dishonesty breeds financial disaster. The snake hatches into a reptile that ruins character, destroys friendship and kills public confidence, without which no man can possibly succeed.
—George Wood Anderson, Norwalk Hour, Norwalk, Ct., Sept. 30, 1925.
Someone has said that a lie is not a lie unless it is intended to be taken for the truth. But that is hardly a good distinction to make between the different kinds of false statements. To be a moral lie, the only kind that is dangerous to the teller is the false statement made with a bad motive. So after all it is the motive rather than the untrue statement which constitutes a lie. A moral lie is a false statement which is intended to do harm to someone.
If circumstances are such that you cannot afford to tell the truth, just don't say anything. We can hurt ourselves telling either the truth or lies, under certain circumstances. If we go around telling everything we know about everybody we will soon get into trouble. Also, if we tell lies about other people, that will get us into trouble. A lie never hurts another person as much as it hurts the one who tells it. The damage done by liars is shortlived, the truth will sooner or later come out and the damage will come back upon the man who lied.
—J.H. Funderburg, Lake Charles American Press, Lake Charles, La., Jan. 6, 1940.
An element of honesty is truth. Be truthful. A liar is an abomination and his utterances are soon discounted until they are but as the breath upon the air. I do not mean that you are to tell the truth on all occasions. Some of the meanest, most disagreeable people I have known have been inveterate truth-tellers. They were human porcupines, jabbing their unwelcome quills of truth into their neighbors, regardless of consequence. A white lie that pours oil on troubled waters, that soothes pain and comforts sorrow, is far better than ill-timed truth which hurts. But you need not tell a good lie or a bad truth. Silence is often golden. The world would be better off if it had a bigger stock of silence.
—George N. Aldredge, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, May 31, 1903.
Why do people lie?
There are a number of causes and I do not believe any one of them is a creditable matter. I do not see any element of character building in lying and I do see the breaking down of character in lying.
1. Malice sometimes makes people lie. One man hates another and tells lies to punish him. This poor fellow makes his own nature bitter by his conduct. I do not think there is any character building in malice.
(a) Boastfulness makes some people lie. "Lest bad man should boast their specious deeds," is the illustration in the dictionary. The boaster is almost certain to half believe himself while other people do not believe him at all; they get tired. he only lowers himself by this.
(b) The converse of boasting, shame, sometimes makes us lie. If we can lie out of shameful conduct, successfully, it is apt to lead to other shameful conduct. No character building in this. It would be a pity, a great pity, as far as the individual is concerned if he could be successful in exalting himself by lying. In the end it will pull him down, it will surely pull him down. If you have not thus tried to exalt yourself be sure not be begin. You will never get over it unless you become a liar, a case-hardened liar, and then it gets over you.
3. Hope of gain sometimes makes people lie.
4. Fear. The only lying I have much patience with is the lying of little children to avoid a beating. I am sorry for these little fellows. Also, I have not use for the one who beats them. I wonder if Jesus didn't have this in mind when He said: "It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones."
Now, cowardice in grown people, when yielded to so far as to end in lying, will break down character. Cowardice is not an admirable thing in any view you may take, it is far from character building.
Did you ever hear it said of a man, "He is such a liar he does not know when he is telling the truth." I have and what is more, it is the truth. "He fools no man except himself," is another common way of expressing the same thought. This is not a laughing matter, it is a very sad condition for one who is immortal, and even for one in this life. You absolutely cannot depend on habitual liars even when they are trying to tell the truth. There is only one hope for this man, and there is one hope, he must be born again. Thank God any of us can be born again.
—David C. Barrow, Christian Index, Atlanta, Ga., April 26, 1923.
The sin of lying is condemned in the Bible in the most solemn and emphatic terms. However, for some reason, we have little to say about it in our teachings and exhortations. Perhaps this is due to the fact that we look upon it as a slanderous insinuation to Christian people to speak upon the subject. Certainly lying is to be classed among the grosser sins, but a little reflection will force us to acknowledge that, in some forms, it is a snare even to those who possess many shining virtues.
Whatever is said or done with the intention of conveying a false impression is a falsehood. The question is sometimes discussed as to whether there is such a thing as a white lie. There may be a difference in color, depending upon the motives that prompt people to tell untruths, but no lie is white. It disregards the commandment of God, and encourages something that weakens moral character. It is a serious thing when one ceases to be sensitive on the subject of truth telling, even in unimportant matters. We sometimes hear it said of people that they would rather tell lies than to tell the truth, even when the truth would answer better. We must believe that such cases are exceptional, if they exist at all. All else being equal, it is easier to tell the truth than to invent untruth. There are motives behind the untruth, even when it seems to be spoken carelessly. For instance, the young man who tells his companion that he has sold about a hundred dollars' worth of goods when he know the amount must be nearly fifty dollars than a hundred, may say that he was simply a bit inaccurate, and harmed no one. He does not realize that a dishonest motive was behind the untruthful statement.
Lying undermines character in that the more it is practiced the less keen is one's conception of honor. The person who makes himself the hero of great adventures and achievements in which he really never had a part, finds himself more and more disposed to add untruthful touches to what he tells and awakes to the humiliating fact that he can scarcely trust himself to tell a straight story. Soon those who know him do not trust him at all.
The root of many falsehoods is greed of gain. Small deceits and petty misrepresentations render larger ones easily possible. Envy is at the root of many falsehoods.
The lie that has the most serious effect upon the one who tells it and upon society in general is the one that is prompted by malice. Whoever would guard himself against this murderous sin must guard against harboring unkind and vindictive thoughts. One who hates his brother will not find it an easy matter to speak truthfully about him when the truth means commendation.
—Mattie M. Boteler, Christian Standard, Cincinnati, Ohio, April 14, 1917.
Lying is destructive of the character of both the liar and the one lied about. It destroys confidence in each other, thus disintegrates society and hinders business. It even destroys or vitiates confidence in the Word of God, in all that is good and in God Himself. One aspect of the punishment of the liar is that he cannot understand the truth, and comes to believe his own lies, so making a world of fraud in which he lives.
He is a self-deceived person, trying to deceive another with that which he deceived himself. The awfulness of false witnessing and lying is like scattering a bag of feathers to the wind and then trying to gather them up again; which, of course, is impossible, so of evil reports and untruths. Once set in motion the end is not limited of the evil it may produce.
The forms of sin are many. But the lying tongue is the complement and companion of them all. It is the veil behind which the assassin of character hides, the weapon used in every form of deception and vice, the jury by which every evil is excused or acquitted. What the Scriptures say of the tongue is emphatically true of the lying tongue. It defileth the whole body. It is set on fire of hell. Falsehood destroys confidence among men, defiles character and withers hope, and arrays the cupidity of every man against every other one. No individual, community or nation can prosper when its activities depend upon misrepresentation, falsified facts, and untruth in conduct and character. ...
Whenever there is pretense, misrepresentation by concealment or exaggeration of facts, there is a lie behind which Satan hides to grease the toboggan into the slough of dishonor and eternal death.
The habitual liar is the outlaw of society, the leper of the community, the Uriah Heep of business, the fly in the ointment of charity, the Judas of religion, and the crown of thorns on the Savior's brow. He is Satan's best helper in delaying the coming of the kingdom of righteousness, joy and peace in the Holy Ghost.
THE BEST DEFENSE against and cure for lying and the liar or false witness is truth, of which Jesus Christ is the personification. You shall know the truth, said He, and the truth shall make you free. He is truth in speech, in conduct, in character. And one will grow in appreciation and truth living as he increases in his knowledge of Christ Jesus, who is truth as God defines truth.
The philosophy of the Apostle Paul for building the character of truth was to think upon things praiseworthy, good and true, with a mind renewed by the knowledge of Christ Jesus. So, while it may be difficult if not impossible to avoid the untruthful person and salacious matter, there is protection in having the mind so occupied and the thinking so saturated with that which is good and true, that there is no space for the untrue.
Be not deceived by Satan, the father of lies, that the liar will not be turned into hell. It is as sure as cause and effect and the Word of God. The only escape is through repentance toward God and faith in Christ Jesus.
—W.H. Hubbard, St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, Fla., Dec. 4, 1939.