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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Renée Miller

Thursday, August 20

A false witness will not go unpunished, and a liar will not escape.
—Proverbs 19:9

Lies happen so easily. There are lies that we plan out far in advance, told to gain some advantage. But there are others that may seem like the only option, told as a means of protection from truth too hard to bear.

We may find ourselves in a situation we had not expected, or we discover that someone is out to get us, or we're suddenly called upon to explain our unsatisfactory actions. Before we even consider the effects of our words, we spill out a lie, since we don't know how else to keep ourselves out of trouble. As soon as the lie is spoken in real-time, there is an immediate inner relaxation—as if we have staved off a disaster.

We soon find, however, that our relief is illusory. The very escape we thought we felt becomes our concrete prison. The punishment we experience comes not from God, but from our own scratched souls. Our lies blacken us in the same way that pavement is blackened from a skid mark left behind a screeching tire.

Life will always surprise us with circumstances that make us vulnerable. We will make mistakes we want to cover up. We will want to get back at someone who has hurt us. We will want to obtain things that are just out of our reach. We will feel vulnerable to attack by others.

False words will scream to spill out. Yet we always have the choice to forsake the false word in order to speak the true word. When we choose the true word, we may be astonished to find that what had seemed so fearful is made easier, because God takes our hand and fills our heart with courage.

Gracious God, when a lie sits on my tongue ready to pounce, let me feel the presence of your Spirit leading me to truth.