As anyone who has ever been a parent can attest, children can be masters of the literal—especially when it comes to rules. One day, after admonishing my son to keep his hands off his sister, I looked back only to find him placing his elbows, his feet, his knees—anything but his hands—in her personal space. From his interpretation of what I had said, he was well within the boundaries I had set.
Much like children, we suffer from the same disease of spin. Whether it’s choosing an interpretation of God’s commandments that fits our agenda or presenting a false front for self-advancement or gathering counselors who tell us what we want to hear, manipulating truth is a dangerous skill to practice. Blurring the lines, we try to stay within the legal definition, while missing the heart of the matter.
We could argue from the practical viewpoint that dishonesty—premeditated or not—destroys our relationships with others. We could also discuss how deception inwardly erodes our sense of identity and well-being. All of this is true.
But those consequences are mere aftershocks.
Because God’s very nature is set on truth, we deny Him when we deal in shades of deception. Jesus said of Himself, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Without truth, real worship does not exist (John 4:23). We also see in the story of King Ahab and King Jehoshaphat that the fallout can be significant when we link arms with those who live in spin. Although Jehoshaphat survived the battle that day, the enemy in the spiritual war destroyed his son who had married one of Ahab’s daughters (2 Kings 8:16-18).
God honors those who live out truth. What about us?
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Acts 21:37–22:29
Read 2 Samuel 11:1–12:13 and Acts 5:1-10. Both of these accounts involve the manipulation of truth. What can we learn from their differing outcomes?
How have you practiced spin rather than truth in a recent situation? What do you need to do to make things right? If we use deception to protect ourselves, what do these actions say about our level of trust in Jesus?