Abraham and his half-sister-wife Sarah journeyed in Garar. In his mind, the safest way to explain their relationship to the King of Gerar, Abimelech, was to say Sarah was his sister, which was indeed truth. But it was only half the truth. When this was revealed to Abimelech by God in a dream he returned Sarah to Abraham unharmed.
When he asked Abraham why he did such a thing, Abraham said, “I did it because I thought, there is no fear of God at all in this place, they will kill me because of my wife. Besides, she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father though not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife (21:11-12).
Why do we tell half-truths? Typically out of fear.
I remember many years ago when I was working as a systems engineer, my boss asked me about a particular project I was working on and I emphasized all the positive things I had accomplished, not really addressing his question because truth be told I had not completed the part he was asking about. I was afraid of his criticism or correction so it was easier to place myself in the most favorable light. Interesting that I specifically remember that 25 years later.
Even as I sit here writing this, the Lord is challenging me regarding those ever-so-subtle forms of lying. In addition to half-truths, how about when we exaggerate? Or when we say something to make someone feel good but it isn’t necessarily true? When we say something because it’s what we are expected to say? And I am sure there are many more.
To not make ourselves crazy about every word that comes out of our mouths we should probably yield to two things:
1. What mom said – think before you speak and
2. What God’s Word says- “Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” Psalm 141:3
Written By Diane Hunt: Diane Hunt serves on the board of America’s Keswick and provides ministry support from her home in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.