Over the past seven days we have taken a look at the Exodus 20 command of “You shall not give false testimony.” As we have learned, lying can come in many different forms, yet the underlying principle is the same- deception for personal gain. The idea that I am going to tell someone something, hide something from someone, or exaggerate an idea to make myself look better. I can’t think of any other reason why we would lie, can you?
This series, especially this specific command, can sound too legalistic if we aren’t careful. Every week we have essentially been looking at the do’s and don’ts of the Christian faith. Yet, there is an underlying idea to the whole series that John teaches us in todays passage. God gives us directions like the Ten Commandments to help give us context to how He has designed our lives to be lived. However, as the result of our sin nature, He knew we would never be able to meet His expectations, so He sent His son, Jesus Christ, to rescue us.
All too often I think we look at our faith like we do the menu at McDonalds. “I need to order a grilled chicken wrap, a small fry, and a small Diet Coke, but not a regular Coke because of the calories, and I can order ice cream only if it’s a Sunday because I can have sugar then.” Sounds very similar to “well I prayed today, I spent some time in the word, and I didn’t lie- so it was a good day!” But that’s not the type of faith God calls us to. Yes, reading your Bible, spending time in prayer, and not lying certainly make Him pleased, but it is a changed heart He seeks. A heart that is so in love with Jesus that you are running in relentless pursuit after Him, allowing His grace to slowly transform you to look more like Him.
You can’t fight this fight on your own. You will never win. If you’re going through this Ten Commandment series by trying to lie less, have fewer idols, and just check off boxes, you are going to end up sorely disappointed. The fact of the matter is that we need to heed John’s words today. Confess your sins to the Lord, and allow Him to cleanse you and change your heart, one piece at a time.