When was the first time you lied? Do you remember? I remember the first time I wanted to lie…when I was 4 I accidentally stole some chocolate bars from the grocery store (an old school Dominion store at Yorkdale Mall)…at 4 years old…already a criminal. My brother and sister and I had to decide if we would tell my mom. The taste of Coffee Crisp and Aero were too great to handle. We ate them. And we lied. Or at least we didn’t let my mom in on our (my) criminal activity.

The temptation to lie is with us from birth, that is why we continue to work towards being people of truth.

In 2016, the compilers of the Oxford Dictionary declared “Post-Truth” the word of the year. Interesting isn’t it?

Two other buzzwords have risen to the top of the pile these past few years as well: “Fake News” & “Alternative Facts”. (I’m not going to comment on why)

In addition to Oxford Dictionary, it’s interesting that in 2017 a group called American Dialect Society declared “fake news” the word of the year in the US.

The origin of Fake News? A journalist found a small cluster of news websites all registered in the same town in Macedonia called Veles. They found 140 of these sites…all run by students who were making lots of money off them…all spreading news that was…FAKE.

Funny thing, they asked the Pope what he thinks about the origin of Fake News, and he said its origin is in the Garden of Eden…a snake fooling early humanity to believe something that was false. Classic (and great) answer.

I found out that Durham College (local school) teaches a class called the real truth about fake news.

What does this tell you about culture?
What does this tell you about our vulnerability?
What does it tell you about our discernment?

We have little regard for the truth. Why? Because sometimes the truth doesn’t get you ahead, but lying does.

Here’s the interesting thing about lying:
– Some people’s problem is they lie to others.
– More people’s problem is they lie to themselves.

OK. So why are we talking about lying?

We’re in the second week of a series in Proverbs 6. Looking at what, if anything, God hates.

The writer of Proverbs, in his wisdom and understanding writes these shorts lines about what God hates…or at least what he interprets God to hate…(6:16-19)

  • Prideful Eyes
  • Lying Tongue
  • Hands that shed innocent blood
  • A heart that devises wicked schemes
  • Feet that rush to evil
  • A false witness who pours out lies
  • A person who stirs up conflict

If there’s a reason for God to hate anything, it’s because it doesn’t only hurt him, it hurts us.

You’ll notice that the writer uses parts of the body to make his point. Like tools or instruments, they can be used for good or bad.

Two out of these Seven lines in Proverbs 6 refer to lying. Think about it, two of the seven things God hates are in reference to dishonesty and false stories. By the way, false story is just another way to say…you got it, fake news.



Why do people lie?

  • It doesn’t matter to them (lack of conviction)
  • Lying = Control
  • The truth may disappoint
  • It’s just a snowball from another lie
  • It’s not a lie to them
  • They want it to be true (convince themselves)

Psalm 120:2 says “Save me, Lord, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues.”

We know from the context of this psalm that this is in reference to others, but if we’re honest, we can attribute these words personally as well. God needs to save me from lying and deceit, from fooling myself to think that I’m ok when I’m really not, or that I’m falling apart, when I’m really not.

Proverbs 12:22 reads, “The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.”

We can list the multiple reasons why people lie, but here’s one really good reason not to…God hates lying.


We can’t lie without words.
We can’t speak words without our tongue.

The tongue, as I’m sure we will all agree, is the hardest thing in our body to control.

We’ve learned this from experience. Who’s ever said something they regret? (all hands raised)

We also learn this from the book James. Listen to what he says about our tongue…

For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.
People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. 

Wow. James. Why so negative? Because it’s true. This is the power of your tongue…and in turn the power of your words.

– – – – –

The writer of Proverbs says that God hates a lying tongue…Here’s what God loves instead: Truth

Proverbs 23:23 says…
Get the truth and never sell it; also get wisdom, discipline, and good judgment. (NLT)
Buy truth—don’t sell it for love or money. (MSG)

 Jack Nicolson screamed (in A Few Good Men), “You can’t handle the truth”, But the writer of proverbs says, not only can we handle it, we have to do everything we can to get it.

If you’re going to consume anything, invest in anything, trade the farm for anything, let it be truth.

I love that Jesus says that he is the truth, that we worship in spirit and truth, that we can live by truth, that if we know the truth, that truth will set us free.

In the New Testament, Truth = Gospel/Good News. CS Lewis, when he came to faith, said that he believed the myth (story) of the Gospel to be true. He said that of all the myths he came across (he loved mythology), that the gospel was the only true one that resonated deep within his heart.

Who cares what the word of the year was in 2016 & 2017. Don’t let others put words in our mouth. If Post-Truth, or Fake News, or Alternative Facts get all the headlines, so be it. Let your word of this year and every year be TRUTH.


Last week we said that the book of proverbs (ch. 6) is meant to help us in our relationships, our community, our work, our everyday life. Why does God hate lying? Because it ruins relationships, families, careers, marriages, friendships, neighbourhoods. God loves the truth because the truth builds up all those things that lying ruins.

So, what do you wanna be known for…by the people who know you best?

  • Truth
  • Honesty
  • Authenticity
  • Sincerity
  • One who speaks truth, and does so in love

 – – – – – – – –

small(er) group discussion:

Does our society have a problem with untruth? Where is the glaring evidence? Where is it more subtle?

Do you remember when you first lied? How about when you last lied? (kidding) Why are we tempted to lie?

What are the consequences of lying? What parts of our lives are affected most?

What about the tongue? We can’t lie without using words. How do you feel about what James says about the power of the tongue? The power of words?

End with reading and discussing Proverbs 23:23.
Get the truth and never sell it; also get wisdom, discipline, and good judgment. (NLT)
Buy truth—don’t sell it for love or money.