Jesus once said something like, “Don’t be calling God your Father because you people are liars, and your father is Satan, the father of lies.” He was pointing out our nature, our sinful nature and its inherent need to lie. Lie to ourselves, lie to one another  and ultimately lie to God.

If we reflect on our time knowing the Lord, I imagine most of us will draw the same conclusion: it’s really hard to live this life and always tell the truth. Lying is usually the result of being afraid of the consequences of telling or recognizing the truth and in an ego-driven society where we’re constantly asked, “Do you like me?” “Do I look good?” “Do you agree?” “How’s the chicken?” Sometimes it’s just easier to say what’s expected.

Of course our lying goes much deeper than that. We use it to cover up information about ourselves that would change the course of our lives (“Where did you go after work, honey?”).

There is, however, a far more subtle and insidious lying pattern present in the Body of Christ today. It involves friendship, support, commitment and the wiggling out of and dissolution of relationships. Much like marriage and divorce, our church/ministry commitments are thrown around at whim. If I had a dollar for every person who has “committed” themselves to serve in my ministry, be my friend, be my lover or neighbor etc. in the past 6 years, I’d be sitting pretty.

I’m talking about Christians, God’s people, people who own and read Bibles and have crosses hanging on their necks, paintings of the Suffering Savior on their walls and “Look At Me, I’m Saved” bumper stickers on their car. Yet my dear brethren lie as bad as Satan and most don’t even realize that they are doing it.

Jesus addressed it. Paul reinforced it. Our word is everything in people’s eyes. And in God’s eyes too. It is in our ability to confess Jesus as Messiah that our salvation comes and the Bible proves over and over that it is the word-of God, man or Satan-that does the most good. Or harm. By telling a brother, sister , church, ministry or organization in need, “I’m here for you,” “You can count on me,” and my favorite, “God called me to…” we are obligating ourselves for a season of service before man and God and without follow-through, we are merely lying. 

God hates liars and I suspect He has a special place in his craw for eternity-card-carrying believers who run around making commitments in His name and backing out of them (ALSO using His name) and leaving countless suffering people in their wake. Guys, we are supposed to be family, examples of Christ’s love and support, encouragement and steadfastness to one another and a light to the world. How can we justify “marrying” everyone in sight and then dumping them the next morning?

“This bothered me,” “This didn’t feel right,” “They looked at me funny,” “The cloud moved” (!!!!!!!)  Make your commitments before God wisely and keep them! Don’t be a friend of a brother one day and absent the next. Honor your words with actions that agree with them. Honor your Lord with actions that reflect Him and not this wicked world we are trapped in. And of course, honor your Father in heaven by showing as little evidence as possible that at one point you were conceived in sin and raised by the father of lies.

Preachy? Probably. But I expect a few “amens” from my fellow ministers who are equally heartbroken at the abuse of relationships and the commitment they require done in Jesus’ name. If this pokes at some buttons, maybe an honest look in the mirror is in order. 

I know that’s where I’m headed…

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