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The new way of life gets rid of lying

February 3, 2023

Daily Scripture

Ephesians 4:17-25

17 So I’m telling you this, and I insist on it in the Lord: you shouldn’t live your life like the Gentiles anymore. They base their lives on pointless thinking, 18 and they are in the dark in their reasoning. They are disconnected from God’s life because of their ignorance and their closed hearts. 19 They are people who lack all sense of right and wrong, and who have turned themselves over to doing whatever feels good and to practicing every sort of corruption along with greed. 20 But you didn’t learn that sort of thing from Christ. 21 Since you really listened to him and you were taught how the truth is in Jesus, 22 change the former way of life that was part of the person you once were, corrupted by deceitful desires. 23 Instead, renew the thinking in your mind by the Spirit 24 and clothe yourself with the new person created according to God’s image in justice and true holiness. 25 Therefore, after you have gotten rid of lying, Each of you must tell the truth to your neighbor [Zechariah 8:16] because we are parts of each other in the same body.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Have you ever gotten (or sent) a post with words like, “I don’t know if this is true or not, but I wanted to share it”? Paul wrote that choosing to follow Jesus goes deeper than just a one-time emotional moment in church. It involves learning, broadly, “how the truth is in Jesus.” That will “renew the thinking in your mind by the Spirit” (cf. also Romans 12:1-2), which will shape a new person devoted to justice and true holiness. And one practical consequence of that is that we will get rid of lying.

  • Pastor John Ortberg wrote, “God wanted people to be present in whatever country they happened to occupy in a radically new way. They did not have to control it or withdraw from it or assimilate to it. They could love it.” * What connection do you see between Jesus’ sweeping call to love and Paul’s assumption that Jesus’ followers would get rid of lying? How does spreading falsehoods undercut love?
  • Scholar William Barclay wrote that in order not to lie we must be TRUE. He noted, “It is easy to distort the truth; an alteration in the tone of voice or an eloquent look will do it; and there are silences which can be as false and misleading as any words.” * How can a commitment to truth help you avoid sweeping generalizations or baseless conclusions about people’s inner motives? When have you been the receiver, or the giver, of false judgments made in anger or malice?

King Jesus, give me the courage to speak truth in love, the humility to say I’m sorry when I’m wrong and the heart to forgive others who admit a wrong. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Darren Lippe

Darren Lippe

Darren Lippe & his wife, Doris, first met in a Resurrection Single Adult Sunday School class in 1997 & were married in what is now the Student Center. They are empty nesters with 2 college-aged sons, Matthew & Jacob. Darren serves as a Couples Small Group co-leader & Men's Group Leader, while volunteering in a variety of other capacities at Resurrection.

As we consider today’s theme, I recall an advertising campaign for Isuzu Cars & Trucks that ran from 1986-1990. It featured actor, David Leisure, as Joe Isuzu, a narcissistic, pathological liar with a smarmy grin telling outlandish claims about Isuzu cars that would be clarified during the commercial like:

  • “It’s so inexpensive you can buy it with your spare change.” (Text: “If you have $6,189.00 in quarters.”)
  • “If I’m lying, may lightning hit my Mother.” (Text: “Good luck, Mom.”)
  • “The Isuzu Trooper can hold the whole state of Texas.” (Text: 78.2 Cubic Feet of Texas.)
  • “It has more seats than the Astrodome.” (No, it doesn’t.)
  • “I swear on my Mother’s grave the quality of this Isuzu.” (Cell Phone Rings: “Oh, Hi Mom. This isn’t a good time. Can I call you back?”)

The ad campaign raised Isuzu’s brand recognition to the level of Pepsi & Jell-O. It was so popular because Isuzu had successfully tapped into the cynical consumer mindset, which already assumed most car ads were full exaggerations or hyperbole.

A Gallup poll from October 2022 found that only 34% of Americans have a great deal of confidence in the media reporting the news fully & fairly. 1 When traditional news sources forfeit their credibility & the trust of their readers/viewers, then it creates an environment where all news sources become viewed as equally reliable. (We aren’t solely picking on journalists. This can be true for all fields & professions who are also suffering with a loss of standing with the general public. Sadly, in some cases the proverbial “the best & the brightest” have been neither.) This credibility vacuum allows fake or misleading news stories to proliferate.

So, what are we to do? Doing some online research on today’s topic, I came across some helpful tips from some pretty noteworthy experts to help us navigate the endless flow of fake, false, or misleading news:

  • “Avoid living in an echo chamber where everything you read or hear agrees with your own views. Who wants a bunch of “yes men” telling you again & again you are awesome?” – Alexander The Great, 320 B.C. (Um… – Editor.)
  • As Benjamin Franklin wrote in Poor Richard’s Almanack in 1757: “Verily, do not rely on everything you read in pamphlets, posted bills, newspapers, or online or you may be as shocked as if you had flown a kite in a thunderstorm.” (This may need some verification – Editor.)
  • “Don’t be in such a rush to pass on every little tidbit of news you receive. It’s perfectly okay to wait for more information to come forth. Don’t be that fool trying to be a 24/7 news service to the world.” – Ted Turner, 1979. (It’s highly doubtful the founder of CNN would have said this – Editor.)
  • “Today’s editing technology is so impressive, anyone can fake a sound bite or make it very misleading.” – Milli Vanilli February 21, 1990. (Milli Vanilli, the French/German R&B duo who had to return their Grammy Award because they were lip-synching their songs, would be experts on this topic; but the quote is still fake. Though their song, “Girl You Know It’s True,” is a powerful testament to romantic teen angst – Editor.)
  • “Not every video snippet shot on your phone or forwarded to you is going to be newsworthy or earth-shattering.” -David Zapruder November 20, 1963. (It’s questionable that the gentleman who filmed JFK in Dallas on his video camera would have said this – Editor.)
  • “Avoid trolls & those who make outrageous statements just to get a reaction or a few clicks. These are not bridges you want to cross.” – Peter Asbjomsen May 10, 1842. (While the author of “Three Billy Goats Gruff” about the fable of a troll living under the bridge might have held these sentiments, it’s questionable that he wrote this – Editor.)
  • “It’s important to get out of your comfort zone. Meet & mingle with different people in different venues. For example, my New Year’s resolution is to go to the theater more often. – Abraham Lincoln, January 1, 1864. (Seriously? – Editor.)

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to refresh my memory of the Joe Isuzu advertising clip: Joe Isuzu Commercial

(To be clear, while these tips could be helpful, all of the above quotes are fake. Now, where did I put my old Milli Vanilli CD? – Editor.) Megan Brenan October 18, 2022

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* Ortberg, John, Who Is This Man? (p. 108). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
** William Barclay, The Letters to the Philippians, Colossians and Thessalonians (Revised Edition). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1975, pp. 153-154.