The Lying Trap (1 of 3) | Devotions with Dad

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The Lying Trap (1 of 3)

For DAD Only:

An Honest Moment

“[The devil] abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (John 8:44)

I told a big lie.  At the church school, someone made me really mad.  I rushed out the front door of the church onto the sidewalk. In my rage, I saw a couple of bricks on the ground, picked one up, and threw it at the other.  It glanced off and smacked the bottom of one of the double glass doors. I froze as spider web patterns spread throughout the door.

I wanted to disappear into that concrete walkway.  I foresaw certain death if anyone found out what I had done.  So, I did the most common thing mankind has been doing since the Garden of Eden, I covered for myself.

With a surge of brilliance, I ran back into the church, down the stairs to where the other students were eating lunch, and yelled, “Mom!  You’ve got to come quick!  Some guy just threw a brick at me.”

“Oh no, are you okay?”

“Yeah, he missed, but he hit the front door of the church and broke the glass!”

Think of how angry you feel when you find out that someone has deceived you.  How do you think our children feel if we dads don’t tell them the truth?  My kids can’t get angry and ground me if I don’t take them on the bike ride I promised.  They can’t freeze my allowance if I back out on the promise to take them fishing.

More than just teach honesty, we men need to model honesty for our families.  If my wife asks if I have any money, it is wrong for me to say “No,” just to keep her from spending it.

Children expect perfection from us.  Eventually, we will let them down in some way or the other, but we must make every effort to tell the truth.  Good liars learn from the best, many times in the home.

As a child, I lived under the guilt of knowing that I had actually succeeded at deceiving my parents.  I winced as my mother loaded me into the family van and we drove around the block. “Does that boy over there look like the one who threw the brick?” she asked.  “Kinda’,” I muttered, but when she slowed down to talk to him, I jumped out with, “No, that’s not the one!” My stomach churned with remorse each time I heard my dad explaining to others what had happened to the glass door.  Finally, after a long time, I admitted my lie to my parents.  It still bothers me now, even though decades have passed.

I’m sure I would even feel worse, if I were living a lie with my kids.  They feel the hurt of our deception if we tell them we are too busy to play with them, but then drop everything when a golf buddy stops by.

The devil fathered liars.  Don’t be his son.

__________

Dad, share this story with your kids:

Trapped

“Quick, run and hide!” Rusty yelled, as he burst out the front door of the house with his sister and their two friends.  “I’m going to count to twenty while you guys hide!” the red-headed boy shouted.  Rusty ran to a big oak tree, buried his head in his arm to cover his eyes, and began counting, “One, two, three,…”

Rusty’s sister Misty and her two friends from church scurried around the yard looking for a good place to hide.  “Hey, Joshie,” she said to her friend, “hide here behind the trash cans.”

“…seven, eight, nine…” Rusty continued.

“Okay,” the little boy said, as he squeezed between the two big plastic containers.  Good thing they had been emptied just that morning.  He scootched down until his chin rested on his knees.  He sat quietly and waited.

“…twelve, thirteen, fourteen…” Rusty continued.

Misty saw her other friend, Josh’s sister, hide behind a big shrub next to the garage.  Now, Misty had to find a place to hide—and fast!  She looked all around but couldn’t see anywhere that Rusty hadn’t found her before.  She ran around the garage and noticed that the big door was open.  “I’ll hide in here!” she told herself.

“…seventeen, eighteen, nineteen…” Rusty yelled.

“Quick!  Where will I go?” she asked as she looked all around in the empty building.

“Twenty!” Rusty shouted.  “Ready or not, here I come!”

Misty gasped, “Oh no!  He’s going to find me.”  She grabbed the handle on the old refrigerator, opened the door, and looked inside.  It was empty and dry with the power unplugged.

“This is perfect!” she said as she climbed in.  “I bet he will never find me in here.”  As she began to swing the door shut, she realized there was no light inside.  And what about…

Suddenly she heard Rusty outside yelling, “Okay, I’ll find you guys, wherever you are.”  She shut the door quickly.

“Boy, it is dark in here,” she whispered.  She squatted down and hugged her skirt around her knees and tried to feel safe.  She listened.  She could hear herself breathing.  Faintly, she heard the kids outside.

It sounded like Rusty was shouting, “I found you, I found you!”

“Aw, Wusty,” she heard Joshie say, “you wasn’t suppost to found me.”

“Come on!” Rusty whooped, “Let’s get your sister.”

Misty listened.  Now she could only hear her breathing again, and something else like a faint drum beat.  She tried not to move or breath, but just listen.  Thump-bump, thump-bump, thump-bump,… The drum beat seemed to get a little louder.  Misty could feel the drumbeat.  “That’s my heart beating,” she told herself.  “I can hear my pulse.”

“Ah-hah!” Rusty’s shout sounded far away.  “I found you, too!”

“Guess I’m the last one,” Misty said as she yawned and leaned up against the side of the refrigerator.  She wiped some sweat off her forehead.  “I’m getting hot in here,” she whispered.

“Let’s look in here, guys.”  Rusty’s voice sounded nearer.

Misty could hear him clunking around in the garage.  She wiped her sweaty face on her skirt.  Even her knees were sweating together.  Uh-oh, he’s going to find me any minute, she thought.

“I don’t see her,” Rusty said.  “Let’s see if she ran into the house, the big cheater.”

Misty listened to the sound of their footsteps scurrying out of the garage and across the gravel.  She laughed to herself, “They will never find me in here.  This is great!”  She wiped her face against her sleeve.  “Whew!  I never knew a refrigerator could be so hot.”

Several long minutes went by and Misty began to feel sleepy.  She yawned.  “I’m going to fall asleep if they don’t find me.”  She blinked in the darkness; she still couldn’t see anything.

“Okay, I’m going to have to find them,” she said.  She turned and began to push against the door, but nothing happened.  She felt around to be sure she was pushing on the door and not the side of the refrigerator.  She could feel the egg tray on the door and the little butter door.  “Yep, that’s the door,” she said.  She pushed again.  But it wouldn’t open.

“Help!” she said.  “HELP!”  She pounded on the door with her fists.  She listened.  Her drumbeat sounded faster.  Her clothes felt sticky all over from sweat.  “Rusty?”

She couldn’t hear the other kids anywhere.

Find out what happens next time.

__________

In the story, why did Misty go into the old refrigerator?

To hide.  To get away from Rusty in the game of hide-and-seek.

Do people tell lies sometimes for the same reason, so they can hide, so they won’t get caught?

How did Misty feel while she was in there?

She got hot and sweaty.  She was scared because she was trapped and couldn’t get out.

How do lies sometimes produce the same effect?

We feel very uncomfortable.  Lies make us feel trapped and desperate to get out.

How is lying just as dangerous as getting inside a refrigerator?

Some lies can get us killed.  The devil wants to trap us in lies so that we can’t be close to our friends and families.

What should you do next time you are tempted to lie?

__________

Read the following scripture with the family:

The Lyin’ King

Acts 5:1-11

But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, and kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?  Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.

And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.

And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much?

And she said, Yea, for so much.

Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.

Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.

And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.

__________

What motivated Ananias and Sapphira to lie to their pastor?

They wanted to look good like the other people making sacrificial offerings to the church.

How do you think Ananias justified his lie?

Because the money was from the sale of the property.  What he didn’t mention was that this was not all of the money.

Role play: You are Sapphira.  What should you tell Ananias?

Was it wrong for them to keep back part of the money?

What does Proverbs 6:16-19 say about lying?

Are some lies okay?  Are there little white lies and real lies?

What lie have you told that trapped you?  (Allow each one to share.)

What about our actions.  A young person puts a comic book inside his textbook and pretends to be studying.  Is this a lie?

What about promises?  If we make a promise we don’t keep, have we lied?

What about if the truth will get us in trouble (i.e. get bad grades, lose a job, be grounded)?  What should we do?

What if the truth will get someone else in trouble?

What if we are not asked?

__________

Memory Verse

Proverbs 12:19

The lip of truth shall be established for ever:

but a lying tongue is but for a moment.

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