ODJ: the invention of lying

September 30, 2013 

READ: Genesis 3:1-10 

Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds (Colossians 3:9).

The Invention of Lying was a 2009 comedy set in an imagined world where mankind knows nothing about what it means to tell a lie. In the tale, an unsuccessful screenwriter, Mark Bellison, is the person who invents lying. He tells the first lie (about how much money he has in the bank) to a bank clerk. Then he tells his frightened, dying mother the ‘ultimate’ lie: “There is a heaven.” She dies happy, but the rest of the world is stunned by his lie. The movie ends with Mark happily married—with a son who has acquired his ability to lie.

The alternative world of Mark Bellison is a lie. Mark did not invent lying. He’s not the first person to do it. Jesus made it clear that lying is the devil’s invention. He’s the father of lies and “has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him” (John 8:44). Satan spun the first lies when he contradicted God (“You won’t die!”) and deceived Eve to believe that God was a liar (“Did God really say?”) (Genesis 3:1,4).

After that time, mankind became “children of . . . the devil” and chronic, persistent liars (John 8:44). Adam and Eve lied to God to evade responsibility (Genesis 3:11-13). Cain lied to God about his brother (4:9). Abraham told a half-truth about his relationship with Sarah—twice (12:13, 20:2). Sarah lied to God (18:15). Isaac lied, denying that Rebecca was his wife (26:7). And we’re just halfway through Genesis! Lying was and is a part of human nature.

Heaven, however, is not a lie. It’s a place of eternal peace (John 14:1-4), while hell will provide unending torment (Revelation 20:10-15). All unrepentant sinners (liars included) will realise that “their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulphur” (Revelation 21:8). That’s definitely not a lie! (Numbers 23:19). —K.T. Sim

› Luke 24:13-43

(See Exodus 20:16; Psalm 5:6; Proverbs 6:16-17, 12:22.)
Jesus said that you’re either a child of God or a child of the devil (John 8:42-45). What should characterise your life if you’re a child of God?