“Keep me from lying to myself;
give me the privilege of knowing Your instructions.”
Psalms 119:29 NLT
We’re considering lying today. A bit out of context in this Psalm I know, but an important consideration none the less. The Psalmist had made an important discovery – he had a tendency to lie. About himself in this verse, but perhaps to others as well.
Telling lies is a sad human trait, which we adopt when in trouble or at a time when we think it will be more palatable than the truth. But we always need to tell the truth, no matter how painful it may be to us, because that is what God requires. Remember when we looked at Psalm 51? David knew the need for truth at the deepest level – verse 6 says, “Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part [of my heart] You will make me know wisdom.” (Psalm 51:6 AMP).
But how do we lie to ourselves? One way is that we try and rationalise our actions. We think about what we have done, or are about to do, and dream up ways of how we can reconcile a wrong thought or action with a conscience that is starting to stir and make us feel uncomfortable. And our enemy, the devil, who Jesus referred to as the “father of lies” (John 8:44), will do what he can to add to our delusions. Jeremiah 17:9 (AMP) reads, “The heart is deceitful above all things. And it is extremely sick; who can understand it fully and know its secret motives?” Who indeed. The problem is that our thinking on its own can be, and often is, just plain wrong. And without some way of checking it out, we will end up in a fog of self-delusion. The second part of the verse we read today gives us the answer to our dilemma – we need the help of truths contained within the Bible. We need “the privilege of knowing [God’s] instructions”. Another good Scripture to drop in at this point is from Proverbs 3, “Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take”. We find God’s will for us through His Word, the Bible, through prayer, from Holy Spirit revelation, and through the counsel of Godly people. As we echo the anguished cry of the Psalmist for help from God, our prayer will not go unanswered by our loving Heavenly Father.