There are two languages in the world: truth and lies.
The first language–the native tongue–of every man is the language of lies. When the Father of lies was our father, "lies" was the only language we knew.
Before I became a Christian I would often lie even if the truth could have served me better. It was my native tongue–a language that flowed freely from my lower nature.
When we receive Christ we become bilingual. We learn a second language–the language of truth. But what happens to anyone who doesn’t regularly practice speaking their second language? They revert to their native tongue.
If we do not abide in Christ day-by-day, if we do not regularly practice our second language, we will revert to our native tongue. You know this is true because you know self-deceived Christians who regularly lie to you–and not about little things.
How do men fall back into their native language? Every morning you and I go into a world where all day long we are tempted to exchange the truth of God for a lie (Romans 1:25).
All men either live by the truth or a good lie.
No man, Christian or otherwise, will choose to live by an obvious lie. Which counterfeit dollar bill is most likely to make it into circulation? It’s the one that looks like the real thing. In the same way, the only lies that make it into circulation are ones that appear to be true. A good lie is probably only one or two degrees off course. Otherwise it would be rejected. The prosperity gospel comes to mind.
What does a good lie look like? A good lie can take many forms. For example, good lies about happiness might tell men that to be happy they need to…
- Make this much money
- Get that promotion
- Drive a certain car
- Have an hour a day for myself
- Achieve a certain desire or goal
- Lust after that woman
- Have my wife act differently
- Have my children behave better
- Have investments do well
- Be able to eat what I want
- Have a ministry that gives me strokes
Do men really "need" these things to be happy? Each of these statements boil down to this core lie: "Jesus is not enough to make me happy. I need something more." Blared from a thousand cell towers, TV antennas, newspapers, and even friends–the Liar wants men to believe that God isn’t capable of giving men true joy and contentment.
As a discipler of men, it’s good to remember that for every truth you tell your men, they are hearing hundreds of lies–many of them good lies–throughout the week.
Yours for changed lives,
Pat Morley, Ph.D.
Man in the Mirror