By William V. Beasley
Each of us ought to be troubled with lying. We should be troubled with the fact of it (all men do not “speak truth with his neighbor” – Eph. 4:25), the danger of falling into the practice of the devil (Jn. 8:44), and the eternal consequences of lying (“Without are . . . every one that loveth and maketh a life” – Rev. 22:15).
A member of the church was letting me know how little he thought of another preacher (from time to time I have wondered what he has said about me), when he said that the other preacher had admitted from the pulpit that he was “troubled with lying.” It became evident that he believed that the preacher in question had fought a losing battle against the sin of lying. I had met the other preacher, but really did not know him. I certainly did not have any reason to question his veracity.
A number of times since then (it was several years ago) I have thought about what my brother-preacher could have had in his mind when he purportedly said, “I am troubled with lying.” The first paragraph above shows that there could be more than one area of trouble with this problem. Because of his being a gospel preacher I am assuming that he was not an out-and-out habitual liar. I know that I am also “troubled with lying,” and I also know that I do not make a practice of lying. Now I do not believe that since a man preaches the gospel he is immune from the weaknesses of the flesh . . . even from the sin of lying. My wondering about my preacher-brother’s meaning is triggered by either a study of God’s word and/or my own thought processes.
More than once or twice it has, in a difficult situation, popped into my head, “I could say . . . ” (a lie), or “They would believe me if I said . . . ” (a lie). Happily I can say that the lies got no farther than the thinking stage. The thinking state is sufficient to let me know that, of a truth, “I am troubled with lying,” and unless I am most careful I could fall in this snare of the devil.
One of the reasons my thought processes trouble me is because of the teachings of God’s word: “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7, KJV), and “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matt. 12:23). I recognize, with a degree of fear and trembling, that I must “keep my heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Prov. 4:23). This, a recognition of the need to control/master one’s thinking, just may have been what my fellow gospel preacher had in mind when he said, “I am troubled with lying.”
Guardian of Truth XXXV: 23, p. 718
December 5, 1991