Jun 29, 2012

The reason we lie is because we are afraid of the truth

How to become a truth-teller

The 10 commandments could be called the 10 promises. In Jeremiah 31:31-32 the Lord promises to write the law on our hearts and so finally every one of the commandments we will delight to keep.

How we begin to keep the 9th commandment, here and now, lies somewhere in Jesus and the gospel. The gospel deals with our failure to keep God’s law but it also begins to produce in us a power to keep God’s law.

So how can the gospel transform me into a truth-teller?

It starts with what we saw earlier in our sermon that the very reason I lie, is the truth, that I can’t accept the whole truth about myself. There are things about me that I excuse, cover-up, and blame others for.  I need to avoid the truth to feel good about myself.

But now as a Christian the gospel enables me to face the facts about myself without fear because I don’t need to fear my many faults and failings. The gospel invites me to take the truth about myself to Christ and therefore the truth holds no fear because it no longer condemn me.

If I lie because I have to cover-up what I don’t like about myself lies become a tool of self-defence (it wasn’t me) and self-promotion (it was her) and self-justification (I’m all ok really).

That’s why Dostoevsky said ‘lying to ourselves is more deeply ingrained than lying to others’ because the biggest lie I tell is that if I cover-up my sin then all is OK.

What is able to set you free from dark-secrets and hidden-truth that we mask with lies?

Only the discovery that despite your sin, despite yourself, God accepts you as you are. So the 9th commandment not only reveals your God, reveals your sin, it reveals your Saviour – Jesus. When Jesus chose to go to the cross, he chose to bear your disgrace and in his death he died for your lies.

Isaiah 53:9 says he was assigned a grave with the wicked, though he had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in his mouth.  Jesus was willing to be considered a liar, condemned as a liar, crucified as a liar for the lie of a life that each of us has led.

Matthew writes The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward.

Extraordinary as it is  Jesus was keeping the 9th commandment even as we were breaking it! Now if Jesus has taken your sin, your guilt your shame then you are free and that means you are free to tell the truth about yourself and to tell the truth about others. No need to pretend, no need to be ashamed, no need to lie, or cover-up, or blame anyone else because above all else for the first time in your life you are free to fail, free to call yourself a sinner – because sin holds no fear.

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