A recent New York Times article revealed that New York Republican Representative-elect George Santos lied about several aspects of his résumé.
Among them, Santos stated that he graduated from Baruch College, although he never even attended Baruch. In fact, he holds no college degree. His work résumé listed Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, although he was never employed by either company.
Furthermore Santos lied about his Jewish heritage.. He claimed to be a “proud American Jew” which he now has clarified that he is “Jew-ish,” rather than Jewish. As a result The Republican Jewish Coalition has banned him from attending future RJC events.
Maybe the most egregious was lying about his marital status. He was once married to a woman. But now he’s married to a man.
In a recent apology for these misrepresentations, Santos referred to them as “embellishing my résumé”.
In a interview with Tulsi Gabbard on Fox News, Santos was pressed on his lack of integrity he admitted “I made a mistake.” When she asked whether people could trust him in the future, Santos sought to justify his “mistake” saying, “Tulsi, I can say the same about the Democrats and the party. Look at Joe Biden. Joe Biden’s been lying to the American people for forty years and he’s the president of the United States. Democrats resoundingly support him.”
Our passage today is a simple, single verse. “Therefore, putting away lying, Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another.”
Our culture rationalizes lying by saying everybody lies. “Sure, I didn’t tell the truth, but the other guy lies too.”
Consider the many euphemistic expressions we use to soften a lie.
- Pulling a fast one.
- Polite prevarication.
- Inventing facts.
- Slightly dishonest.
- Bamboozling someone.
- Distorting facts.
- Being economical with the truth.
All of these and others can be expressed in one simple word–lie.
In their book The Day America Told the Truth, published over 30 years ago James Patterson and Peter Kim wrote that 91% of those interviewed said they lie regularly — both at work and in their personal lives. Their investigation also offered these alarming statistics.
- 86% lie to their parents
- 75% lie to their best friends
- 73% lie to their siblings
- 69% lie to their spouses
- 50% feel free to call in sick to work when they are perfectly well
I doubt that those numbers have improved substantially, if at all, in recent years. Several years ago, the late Dee Bowman wrote an article, The Problem of Lying. In it he made this assertion. “I believe (lying) to be one of the most prevalent and damaging problems in the lives of not only the world, but Christians as well. It has become epidemic.”
God’s people, however, are called to a higher standard. Our lives are to be controlled by truth. Because we belong to one another in Christ, we are to put off deceptive works of darkness.
Too often we lie to cover up something embarrassing. Maybe it’s motivated by self-aggrandizement. Or spoken out of fear. Sometimes we lie to shirk personal responsibility. Or like Santos, we may lie for personal gain and professional advancement. Regardless, a lie is a lie. And it’s sinful.
Lies create conflict. Raise suspicion. Destroy trust. Erode relationships. Diminish reputations. Wrong others. And can alienate you from God.
Let us not white-wash, minimize, or excuse lies. And remember that none of us are immune from this subtle, insidious sin.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman