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Authorities sometimes us polygraph or lie detector machines trying to learn if people are telling the truth. Yet those gadgets only work if the person is afraid, because lie detectors can only detect fear. So if the person is not afraid and their heart rate doesn’t go up or they do not perspire, the machine is often wrong or inconclusive. Huge lying can have huge negative outcomes: it destroys trust, and the lack of trust destroys relationships; and broken relationships can lead to criticism; criticism can lead to character assassination; and character assassination can lead to violence or even death. It’s a slippery slope. It is why God warns us and urges us to tell the truth. In Zechariah 9:16-17, we find these words God spoke to His ancient people that still apply today: “Tell the truth to each other. Render verdicts in courts that are just and that lead to peace. Don’t scheme against each other. Stop your love of telling lies that you swear are the truth. I hate all these things, says the Lord.” Deception and lying are extremely pervasive in our day, so much so that many people think nothing of misrepresenting the truth. God’s people must lead the way in showing that lying dishonors God, destroys relationships, and devalues one’s integrity.

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