As Christians we are commanded to speak the truth (Eph 4:25). We are not to lie to one another in any respect because lying does not glorify God.
Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal faithfully are His delight. Proverbs 12:22
There are six things which the Lord hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood. Proverbs 6:16-17
God's opinion on telling lies is very clear! In addition to all these things, lying has terrible effects on our relationships. Even in long-standing relationships learning you have been lied to is a serious blow to a friendship or a marriage.
The immediate fallout is that you suddenly question everything about the one who has lied to you. Is this the first time you have been deceived by them? In what other areas have they been dishonest? Trust is rocked or even shattered upon learned that someone you love has deceived you.
A woman once told me, "When I found the hotel receipt in his pocket I didn't want to believe it was true. I confronted him about it, and although he denied it his eyes spoke the truth. I knew then he had been cheating on me."
In our counseling time together I learned how foolish she felt for ignoring the signs and for believing the silly excuses he had been giving her over the past months.
It does not even have to be a "major" deception such as uncovering an extra marital affair, it can be something relatively minor that the person has done and covered up. When someone realizes they have been lied to by omission, they are very hurt.
Another woman discovered her husband had been drinking non-alcoholic beer while she was gone for the weekend with friends. They had a strict No Drinking policy in their family since they became Christians. He had a prior issue with alcohol and they agreed to be opposed to anything resembling strong drink. She said, "What hurts is the lengths he went through to cover it up. He actually thought it out. He bought it while I was not home, got rid of the bottles and intended to say nothing to me about it. He did it while I was away because he would not do it in front of me. He conspired to keep this from me."
This caused the woman to question her husband's integrity and to wonder what else he was doing that she didn't approve of when she was not around!
Lying breaks the trust we have built up in a person. When trust is intact we don't question the words said to us, we don't weigh them for the possibility of lies.
Lies cause us to question the integrity of the one who has been deceptive. As the one woman said, if they lied to us this time and got caught, how many other lies have gone undiscovered? Once a person has been caught in a lie we are immediately suspicious of everything. We find ourselves looking around every corner and seeking evidence against them.
As in every case, we must seek to understand what the Lord would have us do, and how He would have us respond. We have the same two choices available to us as always, to glorify God or gratify the flesh.
Glorifying God means we forgive them for lying to us. Gratifying the flesh means we cherish the hurt and treat them accordingly.
More on this tomorrow!