- Do you tend to lie more often to yourself or others? Or are you trapped in a web of lies that has become a lifestyle?
- What would/could be the cost if you continue speaking and/or believing that being anything less than truthful is God’s best for your life?
- What do you think would happen if you confess? Is there something about telling the truth that scares you? What is the best thing that could happen?
- Who can you talk to today about beginning the process of speaking truth? Is there anyone you need to confess to?
Good morning everyone! Welcome to Hope City Church… Can I just take a
minute and say how excited I am for our church? Last week we heard an
incredible message from Tiffany on what it means to persevere… I for one have
been thinking about perseverance all week… I don’t know about you. And I’m
going to give you another sneak peak… in a few weeks, you are going to have
an opportunity to hear from another one of our young communicators here at
Hope City—Matt Leicht. You won’t want to miss out on that. I’m so proud of
Can I just tell you that this summer is going to be action packed, it’s going to be a
blast. I know we’re all making plans right now for summer, in your planning, plan
on being here at Hope City. Sunday’s are better when they are spent together!
Today we’re continuing in our series “MY BIG FAT MOUTH”. In week 1 we
talked about complaining, and how it is easier to complain than change. In week
2 we talked about criticism, and we said that criticism makes me feel better by
making you look worse. Our words are powerful! We’re hinging this series on an
incredible phrase that Jesus says remember this?
out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. Matthew 12:34
This whole series we’ve been talking about core issues people have…
complaining, criticizing, and today we’re going to be talking about lying… and the
interesting thing is that each one of these issues is a heart issue that is revealed
by your mouth! What’s going on in our hearts bubbles up and is defined by what
comes out of our mouths.
My wife Tiffany and I got married young, and we were fortunate enough to be
able to buy a fixer upper very early on in our marriage—right before our son,
Noah, was born.
It wasn’t long after I had finished this house project, and we had brand new white
cabinets from Home Depot, and we even installed one of those lazy susan
cabinets… We were living the dream. Which side, note… what cabinet maker
did susan tick off to forever be known as lazy susan? So, my bride, a brand new
mom, reached in to the lazy susan cabinet and said, “WHO SPILLED ALL OF
THE CHOCOLATE SPRINKLES IN HERE?” And then I heard it… A SHRIEK…
The kind of shriek that says something very bad has happened. Those weren’t
Chocolate Sprinkles. They were mouse droppings. EVERYWHERE.
We had so many mice that Tiffany moved out for a week and stayed with her
mom. We had so many mice that they would wake us up in the middle of the
night because we could hear their little tiny mouse hoofs clicking on our tile floor
in our bedroom. I’m telling you, it was like we had the entire cast and crew from
An American Tale in our house.
Well, Tiffany went on a rampage trying to find the source of our new house
guests. And she traced it all the way back to my workshop. Where there in the
corner of the room she spied a 50 lb bag of Bird Seed with a massive hole
chewed open in the corner. She looked at me and said, DID YOU DO THIS?
And I started to run my mouth. “NO! I mean, I didn’t chew the hole…” “Why did
you leave it out on the floor?” Then I started to cover up my mistake with one
story after another.
Why do we lie? Have you ever thought about that? Like why did I not just say,
“man that was a dumb decision to leave out a 50lb bag of bird seed in our
basement.” Why did I make up stories and excuses?
We lie because we want to LOOK BETTER in front of others. This is why you
will over inflate your accomplishments. You’ll write on a resume all these
incredible things you’ve done, and in reality, you had nothing to do with those
accomplishments. We want to look better.
Another reason we lie is because we want to FEEL BETTER! We lie because
we want to avoid conflict. So we lie and say no we didn’t put birdseed in the
basement. We want to feel better so we Inflict pain on others to make ourselves
We lie because we want to LIVE BETTER. We’ll cover our tracks with lies…
we’ll try to escape accountability for our actions, decisions, internet activity, and
every other form of behavior.
Did you know that people tell a lie an average of 1 to 2 times a day and we're lied
to 10 to 200 times a day. Some of you are like… I see you’ve met my kids! Oh,
and by the way, 60% of all stats are lies anyways.
Lying is everywhere! It’s so prevalent, and yet SO PROBLEMATIC.
In Proverbs 12:22 we see that God has a very clear stance on lying. There are
not really many ways to cut this… Look at what Solomon writes,
The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth. NLT
There is something about lies that God can’t stomach. IN fact, the word that
Solomon uses for detests, implies that it makes you want to barf… like you’re so
sick to your stomach that your body has to eject it. Ever wonder why God
Detests When Our Big Fat Mouths Lie? It’s because Lying opposes God’s
standard of Truth. It goes against the very character and nature of who God is,
and when we lie, we go against the nature and character of who God has made
us to be!
The Bible calls YHWH, or the God of the Bible, “the God of All Truth”. This is
who He is, and when we lie, we push against the character that God is trying to
form in us.
I’ll never forget when I was a teenager, my parents had beautiful flower gardens
all around our house. Well, one day, I was trying to show off my brand new
paintball gun to some friends, but the only problem was that I didn’t have any
paintballs to shoot… So, I looked around, and found that there was a chess
game that had pieces that would fit perfectly in the barrel of this gun. I opened
my window, slid a chess piece in the barrel of the gun and started firing. We shot
half the chess pieces out the window that day. Well, not long after my little
escapade, my parents were working in the garden, and they started finding chess
pieces lodged in the dirt. Curious, they asked me, do you know anything about
this? NO! You don’t know how chess pieces got spread throughout the yard?
NO… I mean, I swore up and down that I had no idea… It was a trap!
When my dad would catch me in a lie he would say these infamous words… “I’m
not angry with you, I’m disappointed with you.” He went on to tell me that
because of who we are, as Gowesky’s, and even more than that, as a Christian,
we use our words truthfully. Nothing hurt more than hearing him say, Now every
time you say something I have to ask myself, is Peter telling the truth.
My lies were creating an ILLUSION that didn’t match my true IDENTITY. My Big
Fat Mouth was revealing that there was a divide between who I was and what I
If God can’t stomach lying, let’s take a look at what we should be doing with our
words. In order for us to see what God’s word has to say about this, let’s turn to
Ephesians 4:22-25. That’s page 800 in the Bible’s around you. Paul is writing to
the church in Ephesus and he’s reminding them about the way that they should
be living their life because of who they are. He says to them earlier, don’t live
like everyone else in the culture around you. You are different because of who
you are, as a Christ follower. Let’s look together.
22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which
is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your
minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and
holiness. 25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his
neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 1
1 The Holy Bible: New International Version. (1984). (Eph 4:20–25). Grand Rapids, MI:
Your spiritual enemy, has one intention, and that is to disrupt what God is doing
in your life, and He will use any trap that he can to do so! Paul refers to your old
self, and he says that there is a new self…
When we place our faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, the Bible tells us
that our hearts are transformed, and we are made into new people. This is why
lying is such a big deal, because it is from the overflow of the heart that the
mouth speaks. And from the very beginning God has been more interested in
your heart, than just your behavior. A couple series ago we talked about how the
WHO is more important than what you DO. If you can get a hold of the heart, the
behavior will follow.
And our Spiritual Enemy knows the very same thing. Which is why Satan has
three traps that He is trying to set.
(ANT TRAPS). The first trap is to LIE TO OTHERS. This is when you’re
tempted to exaggerate a story to impress friends. Or you cheat on the test, lie
about where you where, or you make up something about someone else. One of
the key ways we lie to others is through partial truths. We’re simply just leaving
out the details. 99% of the truth is a lie 100% of the time.
Your boss texts you and says, where are you? And rather than say I overslept
and I will be late today, you say, man the traffic is terrible out here, it’s all these
snowbirds. Maybe there are more people on the road. But if you’re still in your
pajamas scarfing down some cereal, with your hair still sideways from sleep, you
can’t really say that the traffic is terrible out there.
These things seem small. In fact, many times we call these white lies, because
they seem harmless and don’t impact anyone. But they slowly start to disrupt
your heart. “But white lies protect people’s feelings…”. Maybe, but at what cost?
Little lies creep into your heart and start settling in. Let me help you with this.
Pastor Craig Groeschel has said, “Everything said must be true, but not
everything true needs to be said.” Before you know it your life is disrupted
because of your Big Fat Mouth.
(RAT TRAPS). A second Trap that Satan likes to set is if he can coerce you to
LIE TO YOURSELF. In this scenario, you easily say, it’s not hurting anyone
else… It’s just about me. You start to rationalize what you’re doing against what
you know. You tell yourself things like, “I can quit anytime I want.”
Very often we lie to ourselves because we have the need to numb ourselves.
We don’t want to face the fact that I’m 20 pounds overweight, and I need to stop
eating the treats, and I need to get healthy again. We say things like, I deserve a
cheat meal. I deserve a cheat snack. We numb out, and it’s not just food, it
could be any good thing, twisted, and turned around to disrupt your life. It could
be sex, something that God intended to be pleasurable, and satisfying, in the
confines of marriage between a husband and a wife. And yet, people can easily
lie to themselves and say that I’m just clicking around, just going to numb out a
little bit. Who is it hurting anyway? We’ve taken something good, and Godly and
lied to ourselves, and in so doing, fallen into another trap!
(STEEL TRAP) A Third Trap that Satan uses is when He can get us to LIVE A
LIE. We’ve now moved into a whole different category. This is when we see the
big guns come out. See when you live a lie, you are chained to the lie. You
uttered some words, you told a story, you mentioned that you were good at
something. And before you know it, this trap has got it’s grip on you, and you
aren’t going anywhere.
Is it possible, that we live in a society that is deeply depressed, deeply anxious,
and deeply worried about our image simply because we have fallen into this trap
of living a lie?
This is the young mom who is posting on Insta how amazing her life is but she’s
fighting a deep depression. This is the couple who portrays that they’ve got the
perfect marriage. They’re always looking at each other with that dreamy look
and she’s always got to be touching his back, or laughing at his jokes… You
know the couple, they put on the show that they’ve got it all together, and yet at
home they sleep in separate bedrooms. Or the guy who hates his Career but
pretends to be all.
This is such a strong trap because it is fear based. It is controlled by the fear of
someone finding out. But what if someone finds out that I’m not actually as
happy as I let on. What if they find out that we’re actually in debt, and can’t go
out to eat all the time. What if they get to know the REAL me… And because of
your fear, you are stuck in the cycle.
Listen to me… YOUR LIES SET A TRAP THAT WILL ONLY CATCH YOU.
Each of these traps is meant for one thing… to disrupt your life and to become
less like the character of Christ, and more like the character you were before
Christ. Lying starts with words and ends with taking your life!
This is why Paul says,
22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which
is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
Paul taught the Ephesians, stop falling into the traps of the old way of life. It’s
corrupting! Which is why Paul says,
23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to
be like God in true righteousness and holiness. 25 Therefore each of you must put off
falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor
These traps are going to try and hold back your mind… They’re going to try to
cause your body to retreat back into the old way of living. These traps are meant
to disrupt and destroy what God has started in you. But let me tell you that The
Fastest Way to Disarm Satan’s Traps Is to Apply Truth. When you’re
tempted to lie to others, to lie to yourself, or to live a lie, lavishly apply truth.
When you’re with others, and you’re tempted to lie to them, the best thing you
can do is to Be Truthful with Others. The trap says, They’ll never know.
Except you and I both know that we live in a world where everyone knows
everything. There isn’t anything that you can’t find out on Facebook… RIGHT?
James 5:12 says this:
Let your “Yes” be yes, and your “No,” no, or you will be condemned.
When we say yes, and mean no, people are going to find out. The trap is
sprung. When we say no and really mean yes, we let others down. Be truthful
with your words. Follow through. In order to be truthful with others, it is going to
require Humility in Us. We may not always know everything. We may not
always have it all together. However, Truth Filled Relationships produce
Meaning Filled Relationships.
If you’re stuck in the cycle of lying to yourself, in order to break the cycle you
need to Be Honest with Yourself. The trap says, numb yourself, don’t worry
about it. You don’t need to feel… you don’t need to be self-aware. Paul writes in
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more
highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance
with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
Be Honest with yourself. Have sober judgement Paul says. This means that we
need to take an honest look at the things that we’re good at, and recognize the
areas we can improve. We need to value our strengths and be honest about our
weakness. This will require courage to peel back the curtain on your life and the
discipline to evaluate how you’re really doing. But every step along the way of
this process produces Righteousness and Holiness. Your character grows more
in line with God’s Character.
And when you face the final trap, let me encourage you with this… Live a Life Of
Integrity. Integrity is being the same no matter who is around. It’s who you are
in the dark. Integrity requires courage. Courage to stand in the face of the
distraction and say no. To be courageous enough to say, what is being formed
in me is more important that what is going on around me. A life of Integrity
produces a life of influence. When your mouth says one thing and does what
you’ve said, you are known to be dependable, you are known to be trustworthy,
and responsible. It’s amazing what happens when your words are truth filled and
(Others, Myself, My Life) So what is it for you? There are traps all around us.
Likely as I was sharing, there was one of these three that seems to plague you.
It seems like the Father of Lies has you trapped…
We have lied to others and hurt their feelings.
We’ve lied to ourselves and distorted the truth.
We’ve lived a lie and destroyed relationships.
The good news today is that we don’t have to stay stuck. 1 John 1:9 says
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us
from all unrighteousness.
These lies that disrupt us and distract us from the life that God has planned for
us can be destroyed. Confession is more powerful than the grip of the lies we’ve
In the wake of our lies, we have hurt people, we’ve damaged relationships, and
we’ve used people. James 5:16 says,
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.
Do you see the key word in each of these verses? It’s confess! Confessing, is
sharing truth with another. We confess to God for forgiveness and to people for
When I was a boy, I can remember standing in front of my dad, having one of
these crucial conversations, I’ve just lied about something… I could tell that the
atmosphere was tense. He had that look on his face like I was about to get in
trouble, and I can remember him saying, Peter I talked to your teacher today… is
there anything that you want to tell me? I was given every opportunity to come
clean, to confess what I did in 7 th period math class. And instead of coming
clean, instead of confessing, I would dig in deeper in the lie.
This morning, I believe that God is inviting you with the very same question, “Is
there anything you want to tell me? Is there anything that we should talk about?”
Today I want to help you move beyond the traps that feel like are holding on to
you. Here’s the thing, these traps don’t hold any power once they’ve sprung.
Once they’ve been tripped, they’re just a hunk of plastic, it’s just some springs….
There is no power left.
Do you know what takes the power right out from under Satan’s traps? TRUTH.
Truth Trips the traps that were meant to trip you.
This morning as the band comes out right now, I know that you’ve been thinking
about one of these areas. One of these traps, and today I want to help you trip
the trap… What do you need to talk to God about? What do you need to confess
to God? What do you need to confess to others?
This morning, I want to invite you into a physical practice that is going to
represent a spiritual practice…. Inside your program there is a sticky note, I want
you to take that note out, and write the lie that you are telling others, telling
yourself, or the lie that you are living, and come leave it at the corresponding
This morning, we also have communion in the back of the room. Communion is
an incredible opportunity to be reminded of what God has done for you, and how
much He loves you. It is a reminder that Jesus died on the cross to save you
from your sin, to free you from the penalty of sin, and to set you free to live a life
that embodies the Character He’s called you to.