I love my Maggie. She’s three and I think she really may be the sharpest knife in the drawer. Recently Maggie’s mom asked Ellis, Maggie’s little brother, who just turned one, if he had something in his mouth. Ellis was silent, of course, Then Maggie said “Well, he might be lying,”
I chuckled at that because Mags accused Ellis of lying when he never even uttered a sound (from his suspiciously bulging mouth).
Can people lie without uttering a sound? Apparently, some people who are much older than Maggie have not learned that we can lie without talking. Can silence sometimes be a lie? Think of witnesses to crimes who don’t want to get involved. Think of those who silently collect accolades that rightfully belong to someone else. Think even of children who look the other way when asked “Does anyone know who spilled this?”
Of course silence can be a lie. Think about Achan in Joshua 7. The entire nation of Israel was being punished and delayed in its task because of the stolen goods buried under the tent of Achan. The nation was called together to uncover and punish the culprit so that God could bless their invasion of Canaan again.
What good could have come if Achan had simply stepped forward with truth when the assembly began? But Achan was silent as the Lord led Joshua to the tribe of Judah, He stood there waiting in deceit when God led Joshua to the clan of the Zerahites. He opened not his mouth when God led Joshua to the household of Zabdi. Was he deceiving as he procrastinated his confession until it was forced? Of course he was.
I once heard someone say about some deceitful person, “If his lips are moving, he is lying.” But I’m not sure your lips have to be moving. Willful deception is sinful whether your lips are moving or not.
And that’s a bit scary for all of us. All liars will have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone (Revelation 21:8). May I purpose to tell the truth, always, whether my lips are moving or not.