In the movie “Liar, Liar”, Fletcher (Jim Carrey) is a particularly career-focused lawyer and divorced father. He has a habit of giving priority to his job, breaking promises to be with his young son Max, and then lying to both Max and his ex-wife Audrey about the real reason he missed the get-together. Fletcher lets Max down once too often, missing his birthday party, and has to deal with the consequences of a wish Max makes while blowing out the candles on his cake that actually comes true. The wish is that Fletcher cannot tell a lie for an entire day. Fletcher soon has several embarrassing instances where he blurts out exactly what he is thinking and figures out that he is unable to lie or even withhold a true answer. (from imbd.com)
The movie's funny as you feel for this guy forced to tell the truth! Consider this excerpt:
Cop: You know why I pulled you over?
Fletcher: Depends on how long you were following me!
Cop: Why don't we just take it from the top?
Fletcher: Here goes: I sped. I followed too
closely. I ran a stop sign. I almost hit a Chevy. I sped some more. I failed to yield at a crosswalk. I changed lanes at the intersection. I changed lanes without signaling while running a red light and *speeding*!
Cop: Is that all?
Fletcher: No... I have unpaid parking tickets.
Fletcher: ... be gentle.
That is funny but also instructive! The movie is funny because we have trouble picturing ourselves actually being that honest? Let that sink in! The reason the movie is uneasily funny ….. we cannot picture ourselves ever having to do that!
Think of the last time you were pulled over by a cop. I'm sure you sounded like Fletcher! Right?
Lying is not just speaking untruth, it is also withholding truth. Hmmmm. Liar, liar?
Read: Deuteronomy 5:6, 16-21; Revelation 22:12-15
6 “I am the LORD your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery.
16 “Honor your father and mother, as the LORD your God commanded you. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
17 “You must not murder.
18 “You must not commit adultery.
19 “You must not steal.
20 “You must not testify falsely against your neighbor.
21 “You must not covet your neighbor’s wife. You must not covet your neighbor’s house or land, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor. (New Living Translation)
12"Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.
13"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end."
14Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.
15Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying. (NASB)
This command is very Old Testamentish (made that word up!). God had something very clear in mind when he gave this command. In those days, someone could be brought to court, tried, convicted and stoned to death on the testimony of 2 or 3 neighbors. Think of that, 2 people in your company that do not like you and you get executed! You do not just lose your job, you could lose your life! That’s what is at stake in this command.
God was warning his people that they are not to lie for personal gain. They were not to take advantage of others by lying. They were not to advance on the loss of others.
In the NT we find that truth is paramount. Jesus is called the Way, the TRUTH and the Life. We are told that He is full of “grace and truth”. He did not lie. He did not make things up. He reported the truth and did not seek to gain personal approval or advancement by lying.
He expects the same from those that call themselves Christ followers. Our lives are to be marked by honesty. We are to live in the light. We are to be honest about our relationship with Jesus. We are to be honest about our weaknesses (accountability). We are not to seek personal gain or advancement by lying. It is so easy to exaggerate your skills and abilities in front of the right people to get a job or get another person in trouble.
We are not to “practice lying” (Rev. 22:15). Did you notice what else is in the list above besides lying? It is a pretty brutal list: People with impure minds (what is meant by “dogs”), sorcerers (those that practice magical arts), those that are immoral (Greek word: pornos where we get the word pornography), murders, idolaters. If you are honest with yourself you would not put lying with this list! Lying might go along with impatience or even anger but not sorcery and murder.
Those that love and practice lying will be left outside the gates of heaven (Rev. 22:15). It is not that Jesus cannot forgive liars …. He has forgiven me! It is that those who practice lying prove that they have never had their hearts changed! They are not born from above, they are not new creatures in Christ.
Do you love and practice lying? Do you exaggerate? Do you embellish stories so people will like you? Time to be honest with yourself. If you practice lying you may not know Jesus.
What would it look like to play “Liar, Liar” today? Make a commitment to pay attention to EVERYTHING you say today. Try not to lie or exaggerate at all. See if you do not surprise yourself with the human propensity to lie. This is not a license to be mean and say harmful things to others. Be tactful and kind to others. This is about being honest with you and about how you represent yourself to others.
DevoLink: Devotions to help you Link with God.