Ok, I have another quote from Vanity Fair for you today. I know, I know: you thought we were finished with Vanity Fair, right? Wrong! Muaahahahaha! I just thought this one was too good not to share:
"But that is the misfortune of beginning with this kind of forgery. When one fib becomes due as it were, you must forge another to take up the old acceptance; and so the stock of your lies in circulation inevitably multiplies, and the danger of detection increases every day."
From chapter 66 ("Amantium Irae") on page 652.
Does this sound familiar to you? Like maybe:
"Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!"
-Sir Walter Scott, Marmion
Or how about:
"He who tells a lie, is not sensible how great a task he undertakes; for he must be forced to invent twenty more to maintain that one."
Lying is a messy business. Not only is it complicated to maintain a lie, as all these quotes suggest, lying ruins relationships. I would venture to say that the basis for any good relationship is trust. With one lie, that foundation can be instantly destroyed. In some cases, trust may be rebuilt with time. In others, trust is lost forever.
God hates lying. He says so in His Word.
"There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him; haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers."
-Proverbs 6:16-19 (NASB)
"Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal faithfully are His delight."
-Proverbs 12:22 (NASB)
"What is desirable in a man is his kindness, and it is better to be a poor man than a liar."
-Proverbs 19:22 (NASB)
"He who practices deceit shall not dwell within My house; he who speaks falsehood shall not maintain his position before Me."
-Psalm 101:7 (NASB)
Not only does God clearly hate lying, He explicitly tells us not to lie.
"Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit."
-Psalm 34:13 (NASB)
"Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another."
-Ephesians 4:25 (NASB)
"Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him."
-Colossians 3:9-10 (NASB)
Let's review: lying is complicated and messy. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out. Thackeray, Scott, and Pope among countless others throughout history could obviously see the dangerous effects of lying. Lying ruins relationships by completely destroying trust. God hates--I'm talking, absolutely abhors--lying and commands us not to lie in His Word.
So why risk it?
"...you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." -John 8:32 (NASB)