BIBLE LESSON: Peter denies Jesus – Mark 14:66-72, Luke 22:55-62
BIBLE VERSE: “Truthful words stand the test of time, but lies are soon exposed.” Proverbs 12:19 (NLT)
That said, we shouldn’t lie. The bible teaches not to. Simple laws of morality teaches not to. Yet I, as many others, still do it. In all honesty, it is the simplest sin to slip into without realizing it! Personally, I have many, many stories about how I lied to play a joke, to trick people for the laughter of others, or just did it because it made them laugh! Take for instance this story: One day I went to The Shed with a couple buddies of mine. Playing a cheap laugh, I decided to tell the woman who took my order at the front counter that my name was Gus Burton Guster (if you don’t get the reference, do yourself a favor and watch a couple episodes of Psych on USA.) – knowing fully well that she would come out to the tables screaming, “Gus Burton Guster,”and all of my buddies would laugh because, well it is funny.
But the cold, hard truth is that I lied. Still told her something that wasn’t true. Something that was made up. Still a sin. In the bible, there are endless stories about God’s people telling the truth – or not telling the truth. Abraham. If you ever read the story about him, you know that his whole young adult life was him lying about killing or not killing an Egyptian man! He even ran off to be a Shepherd (how fitting!) in order to hide from his lie and sin. I find myself screaming at him whenever I get to the part of his killing, and eventual lie, “Don’t do that! Stop! Tell the truth!”
The truth is that lies are hurtful. They hurt us. They hurt others. More importantly, they hurt God. Yet we are humanly pulled into weaving a lie in order to try and protect ourselves from whatever situation we are in. Abraham did it to protect himself from death! We think to ourselves, “Just this once.” Or, “Once I get out of this situation, I won’t lie anymore.” Sometimes we accomplish what we set out to lie about. We get what we were aiming for. We avoid suspicion, shame, pride, accusations, or death. We get something we would not have gotten otherwise.
But even though it might fool others, we are the real fools when we give in to dishonesty. We don’t know what reasons Peter might have had for wanting to deceive the guards, servants, and onlookers outside the trial of Jesus. We don’t know if he would have been arrested if he had told the truth. But the one thing we know is that when he looked at Jesus’ face, Peter broke down in tears and ran away. Peter couldn’t be near Jesus because of his lies. And our guilt won’t let us live with lies any more successfully than Peter did.
No matter who else gets hurt by lies, the liar always gets hurt. Jesus said, “I am the Truth…” and when we lie, we separate ourselves from Him. There is no way that can end that is not painful. Just like Jesus forgave Peter’s betrayal and lies, He is willing to forgive ours. No matter what part deception has played in your life’s story, there is always time to let God help you write a new chapter. ‘
“Does anyone want to live a life that is long and prosperous? Then keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies!” Psalm 34:12-13 (NLT)