We will be held accountable for believing in a lie, just as much as the one telling it.
Hard to digest that isn’t it?
God says in the end times, many will be led astray. In fact, in Isaiah chapter 9 verse 16 it says, “Those who guide the people of Israel are leading them down the wrong path. So those who follow them aren’t on the right road.”
We all have the freedom to choose where we are led, but we also have the unspoken responsibility to ensure that those leading us are in fact leading us in truth, and not a lie.
Ever heard something that made you scratch your head a little? Something that made you think to yourself, that can’t be true! Or maybe even something you didn’t want to believe was true because of the person it was about?
On the flip side, ever heard something that you hoped was just a little bit true, only because your own prejudice against someone, or it made you feel better about yourself or your own life in comparison?
Sometimes it’s easier to believe what makes us feel comfortable and safe, than uncomfortable and challenged. It’s also easier to believe the bad stuff when we don’t feel that great about ourselves or others.
Truth makes us all uncomfortable at times, and that discomfort challenges us to rise in righteousness, even when we are surrounded by an abundance of falsehood.
As God’s children, we are called to speak truth in love. (Eph. 4:15) In the least, we are called to question untruths when we feel we have come face to face with them. (1 Thess. 5:21) We ought to challenge every thought and take them captive. (2 Cor. 10:5) When we hear something that raises our eyebrows or causes us to begin a little inner dialog, judgmental comparisons or evokes us to flat out slander someone in response, try this instead:
1. Consider the source sharing it and how trustworthy you feel they are. Take into context how this person may feel towards that person previously.
2. Evaluate the subject at hand, and if it is even something that should be on your discussion radar. Something, we were never meant to talk about but with the Lord.
3. Process the way in which you heard it. Was it said with a spiteful tone, and underlining snark, or maybe even a malicious mocking? Circumstances matter.
4. Investigate the other side. While many of us do not wish to get involved further than a comment with a conversation among peers or friends, if hearing something changes the way we feel about someone, we have a personal obligation to test the Spirit before we ignore the person. They say there are two sides to every story and this rings true. Be careful you don’t base your convictions off the one, without in the least investigating the other with an open mind.
5. Pray over it. Ask God to give you a Spirit of discernment so you can distinguish what you feel is right and in standing with God’s Word. So often we claim Switzerland in places we need to claim Jesus. There is always a right and a wrong and its important we know where that is so we can stand firm in His truth.
6. Confront the lies. If you feel a lie has been spoken, it is our job to speak truth to the lies and try to win our brothers and sisters over to conviction, so they can rebuke the lies Satan has them believing and hopefully be open to hear the truth.
It is vital that we have a discerning ear and are on guard for lies if we are to do as Christ commands us. If we are to challenge false teachings, sort through slander to stand with righteousness and hold to a form of godliness, amid ungodliness, then we need to heed the warning.
In 2 Peter 3:17 it says this, “Dear friends, you have already been warned about this. So be on your guard. Then you won’t be led astray by people who don’t obey the law. Instead, you will remain safe.”
If God gave us His Spirit to guide us into truth about false teaching, likewise, He can help us discern when someone is being false in our presence over any matter.
When we become comfortable with lies for the sake of a commandment we don’t want to follow, we must ask ourselves who is the real liar here?
If we shy away from speaking truth because of intimidation or fear of someone getting mad, are we then responsible for taking part in the lie? If we don’t study to show ourselves approved and are able to biblical correct others when they are wrong or sinning, are we then taking an active participation in their deception? Many people just assume the decision to walk away from falsehood, but it is our responsibility to, in the least, challenge it with the Word of God.
We don’t have to rest our false belief on false testimony.
It would be easier if we could, right? It takes away our responsibility of seeking wisdom and discernment. We can just say we believed what we did because of the person who said it, so it was their fault.
We are called to utilize discernment (Prov. 2:11-15) and it wouldn’t be necessary if everyone actual did speak the truth. Unfortunately, people lie every day. Sometimes our hearts have trouble processing this, especially when the one lying isn’t who we suspect would.
Best Friends lie.
Therefore, God says, BE ON GUARD.
In the end times, we will have wolves in the house of God. (Luke 10:3, Matthew 7:15, Acts 20:29). We will have wolves around us in our every day (Christian) environments that we THINK are safe. We will trust people because they carry the title of Christian, sister, mother or pastor etc. I have often found, people believe in a lie because they are too invested in a person, idea or even their own emotions, to see it. The reality many of us don’t want to take ownership of, is we will be held accountable for believing a lie so easily by proxy, just as much as the ones who speak them so quickly by sin and deception.
We need to be praying for wisdom. (Eph. 1:17).
We need to have a teachable spirit. (Ps. 119:34)
We need to have an open mind to the Spirit’s leading. (Ps. 143:10)
We need to have ears and eyes to see the underlining truth as God intended. (Prov. 20:12)
Putting down a gavel on someone’s character, testimony or story because of words alone, without asking God to first reveal truth to our minds is unwise. It’s hasty and can get us into a lot of trouble. It’s foolish and believe it or not it’s a sin and can lead to unjust oppression, unnecessary judgement, and even an undue bitter seed. I see so many people hate someone over lies they have believed from someone who in turn spoke to them because they themselves hated the person in question.
It’s time we accept the hard-core truth.
Just because someone lies, doesn’t mean they are a terrible person. I think our gut tells us that, so we have a hard time accepting it when grandma lies, or our parents lie etc. Some people are wicked and lie out of an evil heart, that’s true, but sometimes they lie for different reasons.
Some people are good, but lie to avoid fear or shame. They can’t let the world know they made a mistake or did something wrong. They deflect truth and lie to ensure their false sense of safety. Some people lie out of bitterness and anger. Their sins blind them to the truth and they lie to make others hate with them. They lie so much, sometimes they even trick themselves into believing the lies. Some people are hurting and lie out of defensiveness and pride. Instead of being vulnerable with their emotions and the truth, they prefer to lie to cover up their needs and wants for the sake of looking soft or wrong. Some people lie to protect their image. Years of fear and people pleasing has them worried what people would think if everyone knew the truth. So they put on a front and take center stage.
Some people lie just because they can. Sadly, some people enjoy it. They lie because they like making others believe their lies. They have a need to control and manipulate. Some people are starving and lie for attention. They like playing the victim in a storm they themselves created. At times, some lie out of pure boredom.
Regardless of a person’s intent, we will all be held accountable for giving ears to them.
God’s word says, “A lying tongue hates those it wounds and crushes, And a flattering mouth works ruin.” - Proverbs 26:28 This verse leads me to believe that a lie can be very revealing IF we use DISCERNMENT. A lie about someone can show hate in the liar’s heart towards that person according to this verse. If this is so, then a lie can tell us other things if we are using God’s wisdom to filter it through.
A lie about yourself, can show self-hate you haven’t dealt with regarding who you are or what you have done. It can raise an awareness for perfectionism, pride and maybe even a little insecurity. A lie about a situation, can show roots of fear, pride or control in our lives. When we can’t control something, we often seek to control how others see it, so we don’t feel out of control. This has birthed many a Narcissists in this lifetime. A lie against another can reveal a heart that's jealous, bitter or loathing. Perhaps this makes them feel better with themselves for having made someone else feel the same way they do, after all, they say "Misery loves company" right?
Whether we take the time to know and understand the deeper issues surrounding the lie, us believing it by default, without using discernment, can show our deeply misrouted desire to avoid uncomfortable truths and commands.
We must rely on God’s Spirit to teach us truth, even if we have a hard time digesting it because of who told the lie. Ultimately, the father of lies is Satan and the people doing it are merely his muse. If we don’t care about their fall into falsehood – who will?
Discernment is our gift. Let’s not stuff it in our closet with no intent to use it just because we were not ready to receive it or utilize it.
“All the ways of man are clean and innocent in his own eyes [and he may see nothing wrong with his actions], But the Lord weighs and examines the motives and intents [of the heart and knows the truth].” – Proverbs 16:2
If God examines us, and we are called to be like Him, should we not examine others more carefully as well, before believing in them so much? After all, God tells us to test the Spirits (1 John 4:1). How can we test for false teachings, when we can't even test for falsehood to begin with?