This past week, I was stunned by famous cyclist Lance Armstrong's shocking interview on Oprah. After years of vehement denials, he finally came clean about his illicit use of performance enhancement drugs, EPO's, steroids, growth hormones, and other banned substances during each of his seven Tour de France races. A famous cancer survivor and founder of the LIVESTRONG charity, Armstrong has turned out to be yet another celebrity with an ability to "Lie Strong" and deceive many. What a massive disappointment!
It cuts deeply to learn that such an internationally renowned icon and athletic hero has plummeted from his pedestal to the proverbial pigsty. Quite frankly, it's hard not to become cynical about other professional athletes. At the risk of sounding a bit melodramatic, I'm almost left asking: Is anyone out there legit? But, it's also a reminder to me of something critically important, deceit is a treacherous path with painful and far-reaching consequences.
The Bible has much to say regarding the sin of lying and deceit. First of all, concerning God, we learn in Hebrews 6:18 that "it is impossible for God to lie" as it completely flies in the face of his holy nature and pure character. Moreover, of Jesus scripture says, "He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth" (1 Pet. 2:22, ESV).
Jesus revealed in John 8:44 that the devil "was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies." Remember how in the Garden of Eden the serpent deceived Eve into believing that if she ate of the fruit of the forbidden tree she would not surely die? We all know how that turned out!
When Ananias and Sapphira attempted to deceive the apostles and lie to the Holy Spirit regarding their generosity, they literally paid for it with their lives (Acts 5:1-11). From their story, in a very graphic way we learn that "the wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23). As Christians, we are exhorted to "not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator" (Col. 3:9). In a list of detestable persons, Revelation 21:8 clearly states "all liars . . . will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death." God's wrath is thus provoked by a chronic lying, cheating, deceitful life-style, one without remorse or repentance.
So why do people lie and seek to deceive others? Three reasons: (1) Pride (to appear better than they really are); (2)Personal Gain (to manipulate others); and (3) Position (to secure political power and status).
Our fallen human nature makes each of us susceptible to engaging in deceit. But God knows. In fact, we are ultimately only deceiving our selves. And one lie begets another eventually snowballing into something with a life of its own, one that inflicts unimaginable pain and destruction to all in its path. So-called "little white lies" eventually turn into whoppers that irreparably damage relationships destroying trust. Only the truth can set us free. Therefore, honesty is not just the best policy, but the ONLY POLICY!
Note: This article was originally posted on my former blogsite (www.ryanfraser.org).