“The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful.” –Proverbs 12:22
“I can’t believe that my pastor preached for a whole hour-and-a-half last Sunday.” Translation: The pastor preached ten minutes longer than usual, which cut into my lunchtime.
“Our junior high group never does anything interesting and our youth leader is really boring.” Translation: The junior high group doesn’t plan activities in which I enjoy participating.
“It rained all day and I got soaking wet.” Translation: It sprinkled lightly, and my hair and sweater got slightly damp.
Sometimes we exaggerate to puff ourselves up in the eyes of friends, playing a competitive game of topping each other’s stories. Other times we feel insecure and slant the facts to grab people’s attention. Sometimes we play the actor and exaggerate just to add color, drama, or to gain sympathy. Whatever the reason, if we never tell a story the way it happened, we end up hurting ourselves – people will never have a chance to get to know the real person behind the exaggerated stories.
The Bible tells us to “let your ‘Yes’ be yes, and your ‘No,’ no” but Christians, perhaps more than most, are guilty of embellishing the truth. We play into the hands of Satan, the Father of Lies, when we distort the facts.
If you’d like to break the habit of exaggeration, begin by listening carefully to what you say. Shading the truth may seem like one of those gray areas of behavior, but always strive for the ideal: Tell the truth.
Father, show me when I am not living out or speaking forth the truth. Stop me if I begin to shade the facts of stories or events, and help me to see that these are lies. May Jesus, the Truth, speak through me today.
Taken from Diamonds in the Dust. © 1993 by Joni Eareckson Tada. Used by permission. Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530.