Today’s Scripture: Proverbs 12:22
“Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord.”
On Christmas Eve, our doorbell rang. Answering it, I found a little four-year-old neighbor girl holding out a plate of cookies. “My mommy sent you some cookies,” she said with a big smile. I thanked her and put them down someplace —and promptly forgot about them for we were just leaving for a church service. A few days later as I was walking out to my car, the little girl came down the sidewalk on her tricycle and asked how I liked the cookies. “Oh, they were fine,” I said, though I hadn’t even tasted them.
As I drove away, I began thinking about this. I had lied. Why? Because it was expedient; it saved me embarrassment and the little girl’s disappointment (though mostly I was concerned about myself). Sure, it was of little or no consequence. But God says without qualification that he detests lying.
Thinking further, I realized this wasn’t an isolated instance. The Holy Spirit reminded me of other occasions of exaggeration or manipulating a story’s facts just a bit. I had to face the fact that I wasn’t quite as honest as I’d considered myself to be. God taught me a valuable, though humbling, lesson.
As I’ve told the story of the cookies to some audiences, I’ve gotten a troubled reaction from a few people. Some sincere Christians think I may be nit-picking. But consider Daniel. The record states that his enemies could find no corruption in him (Daniel 6:4). It seems clear they would have seized upon any inconsistency, regardless of how small or insignificant, to bring Daniel into disrepute. But they could find none. Daniel had evidently mastered this matter of absolute integrity. We should have the same goal.