Proverbs 26:18-19 (NLT)
18 Just as damaging as a madman shooting a deadly weapon 19 is someone who lies to a friend and then says, �I was only joking.�
This proverb speaks of the person who commits a willful sin pretending to be polite with their words, but in reality they are cunning, malicious and deceitful. They give a frivolous excuse for their behavior and then try to play it off as humorous fun. But there is no fun for the victim of a lie and valuable truth is being sold off as a joke.
Webster�s Dictionary says when a person lies they make an untrue statement with intent to deceive; or the intent is to create a false or misleading impression. A lie is deliberate; it is calculated and meant to intentionally cheat a person from the truth. The book of Jeremiah tells us a person that tells lies practice with their tongue and wear themselves out sinning. The Bible tells us Satan is the master of deception. Through a lie Satan encouraged Adam and Eve to sin. Through deception Satan has led people away from Christ so they may not know the truth of mercy, grace and salvation. St. Augustine said, �For a person is to be judged as lying or as not lying according to the intention of his own mind, not according to the truth or falsity of the matter itself�.In reality, the fault of the person who tells a lie consists in his desire to deceive in expressing his thoughts.� Lies are separate from falsehoods and omissions. A falsehood is where one believes a statement to be true, but their facts have not been confirmed. Omissions can be contested as a lie if the intent is to harmfully deceive; but omission by itself without intent to do evil is not always a lie. Omission may be for the purpose of protection, such as withholding information when it is known the truth will cause harm. Omission can just be the fault of a person to not include facts they did not think about and therefore they had no intent to lie. Generally there are four conditions to a lie: 1) a person makes a statement, 2) the statement is untruthful and the speaker understands the statement to be false, 3) the statement is purposefully directed to another person, and 4) there is intention of the speaker for the listener to believe the untruthful statement. We all must take care not to lie for the purpose of deception and evil. We are all sinners and all prone to lie in some manner; therefore we must take care in our judgment of others. Pray for discernment from God that you may know the intent of individuals and whether their intent is to harm. Pray also that you would follow truth and use it wisely.