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People tell lies for various reasons: to avoid punishment; to get a job; to hide their age; to keep from working; to disguise their true feelings; to draw praise; to draw sympathy; to end a relationship; to hide or enhance their self image; to win an argument; or to deliberately hurt someone. Here is what Thomas Jefferson said about lying: “He, who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second time and third time, till at length it becomes habitual.” He said, “The falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions.” Now here are some words from the Bible about lying: Exodus 20:16 records God saying, “You must not testify falsely against your neighbor.” Solomon wrote in Proverbs 25:18, “Telling lies about others is as harmful as hitting them with an ax, wounding them with a sword, or shooting them with a sharp arrow.” Jesus said lying and slander come from an evil heart and defile the person who engages in it. In Ephesians 4:25, we read Paul’s emphatic words, “Stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body.” Lying is bad because it disrupts unity, creates conflict, and destroys trust. When we lie, we deceive ourselves, we alienate ourselves from God, and we lose credibility with people.

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