Proverbs 19:9 – A false witness shall not be unpunished, and [he that] speaketh lies shall perish.
Colossians 3:9-10 – Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
Tell Lies and Teach Lies and you will Train Lies. One of the best ways to reinforce a teens willingness to bend the truth is to bend the truth yourself. If you’re willing to lie to that salesperson on the phone because you don’t want to be bothered, or to the waiter to get your free food, or to your mother in law because you really don’t want her to visit, then you better begin to expect your teens to lie as well to get what they want too. Why do teens lie? Often because their leaders do.
2. Honor Honesty
Proverbs 12:22 – Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.
While obviously you cannot and should not take the time to praise every true thing a teenager says (“Why yes, that IS a car. Way to tell the truth!”) we can point out important times when your child chooses to tell the truth when telling the truth is a hard thing (“I’m proud of you for telling me you have been cussing. Now, Let’s talk about why?”).
Why should your teens be honest when it doesn’t serve him or her? When was the last time you did? Why did you choose honesty? When one of them does choose to be honest when they could lie… be sure to honor that honesty.
3. Take It Personal
Zechariah 8:17 – And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these [are things] that I hate, saith the LORD.
When a teenager lies to you to protect themselves or a friend, and you take it personal… (They dont love me, They dont respect me, Why am I even here?) You are setting up the teenager and yourself for future failure, bitterness, anger, and hurt. Not every thing revolves around you. I’m not saying some things don’t deserve your being upset and dealing with… but realize, the deception was probably for a sin or friend and not to intentionally hurt you. Be careful taking it personal, this leads to leaning leadership and personal prejudice.
4 Make it Fake
James 1:22 – But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
It’s easy to get into a groove where we celebrate successes and do our best to choke back our disappointment about mistakes. We are taught this in our culture and in our churches. However, the Bible teaches we are all sinners in need of salvation and saved sinners still live in a sinful flesh, in a sinful world and are attacked by a sinful devil! We must be careful that we dont deceive in our desire to achieve spiritual success. Many times we are tempted ourselves, to deceive in our demeanor, doctrine, dress, disposition, dedication, direction and daily Christian walk. When our teens deceive to cover up things they were involved in or knew others were, we must understand they are practicing a learned behavior.
Cover ups, hypocrisy and silence will only develop deceivers. Let’s work to encourage our teens that even when they fail— if they will be honest with God, they can (Because of GRACE) get up and try again with wisdom learned from a failure. When we do that, we can create a Youth Group culture in which there is less incentive to be dishonest and deceive. We want our teens to always be secure that the truth will make them free, whatever it might be.
YP, if you will lie, ignore truth, not honor honesty, take it personal and make it fake; then you can develop some dark deceivers in your ministry. When we do that, we can create a family culture in which there is less incentive to be dishonest and our kids can feel safer telling the truth, whatever it might be.