After warning the Colossian believers to pay attention to the negative, selfish words that can come out of their mouths, he gives one last warning about a type of speech that has the potential to destroy a relationship.
Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his practices and have put on the new man, who is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of his Creator.
When my boys were young, there were only two misbehaviors that would warrant getting spanked. The first was willful disobedience – we give a direction, they would blatantly defy. The second type of behavior that would result in spanking was considered much worse than the first – lying.
We typically lie to someone else in an attempt to make ourselves look better or to maintain someone else’s impression of us…that we’re really rather nice, or have disposable income, or not rude, or not selfish. Sometimes we tell ourselves that we lie only to protect others or ourselves; but in reality, lies only protect the façade we’re trying to project. When the truth comes out – and it eventually does – we find that the lie we used for “protection” has now severely undercut the relationship.
This is why we made such a big deal about lying with our children. When a parent lies to a child, or a child to his parent, their relationship is taken out at the knees. While trust in a specific instance was violated by the lying, we justifiably begin to wonder “When else has that person lied to me?”.
The same thing happens in God’s family when we lie to each other. Seeds of mistrust will eventually lead to a harvest of dysfunction.
Paul says that our habit of lying can be set aside, like all of our sinful tendencies, as we continue to identify with who we are now in Jesus instead of being like who we were before we met Jesus. We put on the new man when we first trusted Jesus as our Savior. Our identity is forever wrapped up in His, however, that is just the start of our relationship.
Paul says that our identity is being renewed, or growing up, in knowledge according to the image of [our] Creator. The better we know our Savior and Creator, the faster we grow up in our new identity.
When we recognize who we are and how well we’re loved in Christ…we won’t need to promote a façade, we’ll see that there’s no reason to lie about ourselves.
So our lying habit won’t be fixed by washing our mouths out with soap, putting a dollar in a jar whenever we get caught, or by promising to do better next time. The fix for our brokenness is found in spending time with Jesus. Are we taking the time to develop in the knowledge of our Creator?