Put Down the Flamethrower

Truthful words stand the test of time, but lies are soon exposed.

Proverbs 12:19 (NLT)

No one has to teach a child how to lie. It’s part of our sinful DNA, we are born with it. We all have the ability to bend the truth, add some details to a story that didn’t actually happen, or to flat out make stuff up. It’s there, lurking inside of us.

Of course, I’ve told my fair share of lies over the course of my life. There was the time I told my mom I drank the glass of milk, even though she had spotted the evidence of a milk-like liquid in the kitchen sink. Busted! Or the time that I called in sick to my job in college because my friends wanted to go catch a movie. Then, there’s also the time that I told all of my neighborhood friends that I had a superpower and could read their minds. (OK, I was like 10. Stop laughing!) We are pretty good at coming up with stuff.

But, what do we do when the lies are about us? What do we do when someone begins to spread false information about our actions, our character, our motives to others? Treat it like a burning house. Let me explain.

If a house is on fire and you call 911, the fire department will dispatch a unit of firefighters with a truck made for firefighting. When they arrive, they assess the situation and begin to setup their hoses and get connected to a good source of water. When the chief/captain gives the command, the firefighters begin spraying the structure down with water because it will douse the flames. It seems pretty simple, right. If you put enough water on it, the fire goes out.

So, what would happen if the firefighters brought a flamethrower to put the fire out? It’s not gonna work. Instead, whatever was salvageable in the house would now be toast. When it comes to a house fire, fighting fire with fire doesn’t work.

It’s the same with lies. When someone lies about us, we can, in turn, spread lies about them. However, it only adds fuel to the fire. Instead, we need to fight lies with truth. As King Solomon put it, “Truthful words stand the test of time, but lies are soon exposed.” In other words, the truth will overcome the lies. The liar is found out, and the trust they had with others is eroded. By telling the truth, we make sure the trust they have in us is not.

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