One little white lie. Can it really be so bad? To a perfect and holy God, one little white lie is a huge deal! Just like one drop of something gross can ruin a pure glass of water, one little lie taints us and makes us imperfect. And we can do nothing to make ourselves clean. Thankfully our holy and just God is also loving and merciful and provides a way for us to be clean again.
MEMORY VERSE: “The Lord detests lying lips but He delights in those who tell the truth.” Proverbs 12:22 (NLT)
After wandering in the desert 40 years, Israel finally entered the Promised Land. God had made a covenant with Israel to fight for them if they trusted and followed His Word. After the battle of Jericho, one man, Achan, had taken treasure that belonged to God, hid it and lied about it. His lie broke the covenant and dishonored God. Yes, even one little lie makes us imperfect and breaks our relationship with the Lord. The consequence for Achan’s sin was death and that’s the same consequence we all deserve because of our sin. However, God, in His mercy, gives us time to confess, repent, and accept His free gift of forgiveness so that we can have a relationship with Him again.
Read Joshua 6-7. What instructions did God give the Israelites?
How had Achan not honored God? How did his lie affect others?
Why is even one little lie such a big deal to God? (God is holy and perfect and can only be with holy and perfect things. Even one sin makes us not perfect so we can’t be with Him. Just one little lie makes us deserving of death. When we lie it’s like we’re telling God we don’t trust His way is best and we want to do things our own way. That is dishonoring to our holy God and is a BIG deal. Achan got the punishment we all deserve every time we are not honest.) Talk about the amazing gift of grace God offers us even though we are sinners.
Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
While at dinner this week bring up the topic of honesty. Ask your family if they think anything is affected when they don’t tell the truth. Then ask them what is affected if they are dishonest but never get caught. After you have given them time to answer, explain that dishonesty breaks relationship between them and God as well as other people. So even if you never get caught and your dishonesty is never found out, it is dishonoring to God. Dishonesty, although you might not realize it, breaks down relationships and can directly hurt others.
While driving tell your family that the sky is red! Be really convincing and energetic about the sky being red. Tell them to look out the windows so they can see it. Most likely they will respond by telling you that it is NOT red but it IS blue. Make this debate lead into teaching your family that while we can lie, it does not change the truth. No matter how many times you said the sky was red, it did not change the truth that the sky is actually blue. Dishonesty never actually changes the truth and God is the source of all truth. Being honest honors God.
As your family is going to bed read them the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Afterwards, ask your family to give you a few reasons why honesty is so important. Ask them how the story would have changed if Peter had been honest. Pray and ask God to give you the courage to be honest even when it is hard.
Role play scenarios with your child where they must decide between telling the truth and telling a lie. Have your spouse participate as well. For one scenario, you and your spouse can pretend to be two children that are friends. One of you drops a dollar without realizing it and the other one picks it up and doesn't say anything. The person who drops the dollar asks the friend if he saw it, but he lies and says no. After the scene, ask your child to describe what happened and how they would feel if they had lost the dollar they had earned, and how they felt to know a friend had lied to them. Let them show you the right way by re-doing the scene with your child demonstrating honesty and immediately returning the dollar. Talk about how honesty honors God and helps build trust with others.
Thank God for being holy and just and also for His mercy and forgiveness. Ask Him to help you honor Him with your words this week and that you would be an example of His truth to others.
Next week we continue our character trait for May- Honesty!