Lesson 82

Proverbs 10:18 says

He who conceals his hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool.

This verse steps on so many toes. You might deny it, but by the time you get to the end of this you will that this verse applies to you.

How many times have you disliked something or someone and kept the fact to yourself? Always trying to be that peacemaker. Always lying to ourselves and others. My father always wanted to keep the peace. We were family. They were friends. If something bothered you, swallow it and go on. Never rock the boat. You could make some good arguments, yet it turned everyone into liars.

My father got upset that I was not close to one of my sisters. It was just me and him so I decided to be honest. I told him that she was rude and very cold to me. I did not like it. I didn’t have to like her, just love her. He lectured me on how we cannot feel that way. Never mention it again and pretend everything is ok even when it is not. I looked around and though he was able to do this with huge success, just like my brother, it led to nothing being discussed in our family. It was always to be swept under the rug and forgotten. Yet, it caused the garbage to fester. We all turned into liars because we harbored resentment and pain and never discussed it.

I balked at this the older I got. Why can’t you discuss with someone something that you dislike or are hurt about? Why do you have to be buddy buddy with everyone though you cannot stand them? Not liking someone is not a sin. By not facing the true feelings, we make ourselves into liars. Which is worse, being a liar, or being mature to handle adversity?

It is better to be truthful and honest than to be a liar and deceptive. Just be truthful and honest with love and mercy.
What about those that slander? To quote Webster: the utterance of false charges or misrepresentations which defame and damage another’s reputation. Believe it or not, you are guilty. We all gossip to some degree. I am not at all excusing that because it is a pet peeve of mine and deeply saddens me when I realize that I have done it. But gossip we do and slander is part of it. When you repeat anything without knowing 200% the accuracy of it, you have performed slander. “I heard that Jenny is pregnant. Susan saw her in a top that looked like maternity.” You later find out that Jenny had stomach surgery on her gallbladder and needed loose clothing. You are now a fool and slanderer.

Rumors began to float around town how my husband was having an affair. Why? Because they saw him come out of a friend’s house late at night and return later to spend the night. The whole story? He did spend the night there along with me and the three children due to some remodeling in our home. Those people who later turned out to be Christians were guilty of slander. What fools!

Are you a liar? Do you lie to keep the peace or to be deceptive? Do you gossip and spread lies knowingly or unknowingly? What do your lips do?