I don’t want to overdo this but when I think of lies, I think of lies by omission and commission. I think of people using statements to cover up their fear of being asked questions or people asking questions to keep from making statements and being held accountable. I can think of trying to work with people who find ways to bare face lie to you, or of waiting to hear how someone is going to spin an event or decision, to explain away a disappointment for fear that if you really got the story, they would be held accountable and may lose their job.
We don’t live in a society anymore where we promise to speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I mean we could really get down on this subject and go places that stir up some pain. But whatever we want to focus on, the subject matter, people who’ve lied to us or about us, there is another category for the worst kind of lie. I didn’t know there could be a category like this but to my amazement, there is.
I remember as a kid being told by my mother how lying, above all else, was not to be done. She’d go somewhat ballistic if I was caught in one – I mean actually saying the words to her – a bare-faced lie. So I found another way to lie by saying nothing or acting as if I didn’t know what she was asking or talking about. Or misrepresenting my self by living one way at home and another way down at the gym, when I played basketball. We can all go here on some level, can’t we? I mean scripture says everyone is a liar and God is the only one who isn’t.
So what is this category called the worst kind of lie?
James says in his letter to believers “…if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your hearts, don’t brag about being wise. That is the worst kind of lie. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and motivated by the Devil. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and every kind of evil.” James 3:14-16
The idea of acting like I’m wise and care for others when, in my heart, I’m jealous and full of selfish ambition is the worst kind of lie? That’s what the Bible says. It’s about obligating others to me and me never to others. The Bible says when that goes on in a group – like the church or the people James was writing to – we will find disorder and every kind of evil. We all saw this when the Jewish ruling body in Jesus day plotted his death, didn’t we?
Interesting how God calls this out isn’t it? It’s the worst kind of lie because it’s the type of lie that sees and uses people as objects to possess. People created by God, the author of life.