We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine

Liar, Liar, Your Pants Are on Fire! Part 2

Do you remember the phrase “Liar, liar, your pants are on fire?” I remember it, but not for good reasons. I was a born liar. I guess that makes the Bible completely accurate when it says that even a baby that comes forth from the womb speaks lies (Psalm 58:3). No one had to teach me how to lie. It came as easy as eating pie, but when I was caught, it didn’t taste very good–my mom would wash my mouth out with soap!

As I consider what to do with children who lie, I must say that I am not an advocate for the soap-in-mouth method. And while children need to understand that there are consequences for lying, we as parents must respond with wisdom rather than wrath.

The approach we use to correct lying can determine whether we exacerbate the problem or help bring victory. When lying occurs, we must not respond with an emotional or angry response. If we do, then perhaps we are really more concerned with our own image. Sometimes parents desire perfect children so that their own image is exalted. Righteous discipline never acts to condemn but offer help.

Strictness and threats might suppress a lying spirit, but will not change the heart. Children who lie habitually need consistent loving discipline, not our condemnation.

If your children are struggling with a lying spirit, there are three books that powerfully illustrate the natural consequences of lying, the rewards for truthfulness, and the parental wisdom that is necessary to help children overcome this formidable, sinful behavior. I only wish that I had read these books when I was a child: Tom Watkins Mistake, Helen’s Temper, and a book titled Rising to the Top.

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