Psalm 119:163 “I hate and detest falsehood but I love your law.” (NIV)
Luke 4:13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left Christ until an opportune time. (NIV)
A culture of integrity is absolutely essential for the health, unity, and longevity of any group, community, or society. When the truth is diminished and lies are embraced, fragmentation occurs which will eventually lead to the destruction of the group. Denial sets in, causing fear to trigger hostility and hatred. Falsehood creates confusion as people struggle to recognize the truth and the community becomes divided which is exactly what liars want to increase their importance and power because a fragmented group is so much easier to conquer, manipulate, and oppress than a united one.
When Christ wrestled with Satan in the wilderness, He encountered the father of all falsehood and lies. The devil even used scripture to justify the temptations he placed before Jesus, claiming that this would be exactly what God wanted. Against anybody else, this demonic ploy would have worked, but Christ saw right through the devil and knew that scripture was being twisted in order to manipulate Jesus. Just because Satan used holy words and perfectly recited them did not make him faithful or truthful. The devil was trying to separate Christ from God using quotes from the Bible, almost the diabolical equivalent of Facebook memes in our time. But no matter how devious the devil was, or how much slickness and charm he used to persuade Jesus, our Savior knew exactly what was truthful and what was false.
An important part of our responsibility as Christians is not only to seek the truth and do what is right but to confront falsehood and lies. If we pander to or excuse powerful liars in our midst then we are failing to follow Jesus. We are expected to be messengers of the truth and not harbingers of lies; we are supposed to judge what is right and not justify anything that is wrong. If we feel confused or conflicted about these things, then we have to defer and default to Christ. He constantly confronted corruption and lies in His lifetime and successfully fought against Satan, the father of all lies, so should we expect Him or His followers to do differently in our present age?
Point to ponder: How do I differentiate between what is true and what is false? Am I a sharer of the truth or a spreader of lies? Am I honestly following Christ or my own ways?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we have sinfully made it difficult to distinguish between truth and falsehood, as well as right and wrong these days. We allow our prejudices to persuade us that what we want for ourselves must be right and all that we believe must be true. Forgive our foolish notions and guide us back to Your godly ways. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
Today’s image is one of John’s latest art nouveau designs called ‘Seussitoshi.’ If you would like to view a larger version, please click here.