20 Bible verses about Lying (Learn to stop the destructive habit)
Bible verses about Lying
The Bible is very vocal on the subject of lying. Scripture leaves no doubt that lying is a detrimental habit with dire consequences and a sin that should be avoided. We know this is much easier said than done as we daily encounter the wiles of the devil, who is the "father of lies."
There is also a general understanding that one lie typically leads to another, and before you know it, you would have unintentionally weaved a massive web of deceit. However, God declared that “lying lips are an abomination," and in Proverbs 6, we find lying on the list of things that God hates.
Join me as we explore some of the most emphatic verses in the Bible that dissuades this destructive habit of lying and outline the consequences.
Table of Contents
- Bible verses about Lies and Deceit
- Bible verses about Lying and Cheating
- Bible verses about Lying to Spouse
- Bible verses about Lying to Parents
- Bible verses about Consequences of Lying
Bible verses about Lies and Deceit
Many use the words lies and deceit interchangeably. However, when defined, deceit suggests premeditation, while lying tends to be a spur-of-the-moment reaction.
The verses below from both the Old and New Testament denounces both acts and does not categorize any as more honorable than the other. These verses outline that lying and deceit are sins, and whoever practices these habits will face the relevant consequences, including but not limited to the wrath of God.
“He who works deceit shall not dwell within my house; He who tells lies shall not continue in my presence.” Psalm 101:7 NKJV
Lying is one of the most denounced sins in the psalms. In this psalm, David outlined how he intended to operate as a king and govern his household. He was adamant that those who sought to deceive the people, whether by fraud or trickery, and those who lied, whether as an excuse or a way to exalt themselves, would be banished from his presence.
Similarly, God hates lying, a sin, and invites us to “consecrate ourselves therefore and be holy, for He is the Lord our God.” Leviticus 20:7
“So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Revelation 12:9 NKJV
Satan is the greatest deceiver. As he sought to usurp God's authority, he was cast down to earth along with one-third of the angelic host that believed his lies. He was the same serpent that deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden and the one who throughout history continues to lead people astray.
As we look around, we can see the results of Satan's deception - lies, scamming, murders, cults, and sexual immorality. Peter warns us to be sober and vigilant because the devil is our enemy, and like a roaring lion, he intends to devour us. (1 Peter 5:8) We have to guard our hearts and mind against Satan's lies.
“Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds.” Colossians 3:9 NKJV
This verse is a part of Paul’s exhortation to Christian believers as he outlined how they should interact with each other. 2 Corinthians 5: 17 tells us, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."
This, therefore, means that you may have told lies in the past; as a born-again child of God, you no longer engage in such practices. Christians should be kind and "speak the truth in love."
Lying and deceit has been known to tear churches apart, and it, therefore, behooves us to be vigilant in avoiding these vices.
“He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” 1 John 2:4 NKJV.
How many of us are guilty of being a liar? This verse is very profound and even a bit harsh. When our actions do not match our words, we are liars, and God is not pleased.
Titus supported this fact in the first chapter when he said, "They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work." Followers of Christ are commandment-keeping people. We have to walk the talk; otherwise, we are liars and deceivers. What is your status?
“But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.” James 3:14 NKJV
James was not only dishing out some practical advice in this chapter, but he was also stating facts. In James 3:16, he went on to elaborate when he said, "For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every evil practice.”
The truth is that wherever boastfulness abounds, lies and deceit will be present. One sin often leads to another, and James is encouraging us to avoid envy and arrogance as these will propagate lying and deceit among brethren.
The temptation to exaggerate your stories and accomplishments multiplies in the face of envy, but we are warned in Proverbs 19 that a false witness will not go unpunished.
Bible verses about Lying and Cheating
There is a popular proverb that says that “Cheaters never prosper.” Sometimes this adage does not seem to hold true as we see many dishonest students, politicians, co-workers, and pastors who seem to be doing very well for themselves.
However, Psalm 50 reminds us that God is reviewing the works of the wicked (liars and cheaters), and he will judge them in due time. Let us take a look at some Bible verses that give us insight on this topic:
“You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another.” Leviticus 19:11 NKJV
Lying and cheating are often listed as kindred sins, and the damage that they cause among family, friends, or even brethren is often irreparable. It is important to note that they are also listed in the Ten Commandments outlined in Exodus 20.
God takes lying and cheating seriously. He wanted Israel to be different from the other nations, hence this command and several others in Leviticus 19. The same principle applies to us who are "a chosen generation and a royal priesthood." We are called to treat each other as we would like to be treated. Matthew 7:12
“Then Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out” Acts 5:9 NKJV.
The story of Ananias and Sapphira found in Acts 5:1-11 is a well-known one that should serve as a deterrent to believers regarding lying and cheating. As a couple, they agreed to lie about the gains received from land they had sold.
The Spirit of the Lord revealed to Peter that they were trying to cheat the church, and God struck them dead. While we may not be struck dead today, the very moment we lie or cheat, God’s sentiments towards these sins have not changed.
“Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who deal truthfully are His delight." Proverbs 12:22 I want to be a delight to God, how about you.
“He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.” Luke 16:10 NKJV
The New International Version translates faithfully as being trustworthy and unjust as being dishonest. Within the context of stewardship, God is expecting all of us to display integrity.
After all, who would knowingly place you in charge or positions of leadership if they cannot trust you to manage their possessions honestly? Lying and cheating do not profit us in any way.
Proverbs 10:9 reminds us, "Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.” Nothing remains hidden forever, especially dishonest deeds; they will come to light.
Bible verses about Lying to Spouse
When there is trust and loyalty within a marriage, it is a beautiful phenomenon. However, where there is distrust and unfaithfulness, a marriage can become a nightmare that may even lead to the death of one spouse at the hand of the other.
Trust is very fragile, and one lie in any shape or form can shatter years of trust. We know that God is a huge fan of marriage, so let us assess these verses to see what he has to say about lying to your spouse.
" Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered." 1 Peter 3:7 NKJV
While this verse does not explicitly state that husbands should not lie to their wives, it does talk about treating her with honor and both persons partnering together as heirs as the grace of life.
We do not consider lying an act of honor, so we can deduce that lying between spouses is one of the sins that would prevent their prayers from being answered. Psalm 66:18 reminds us that God will not hear from us if we harbor iniquity in our hearts. Spouses, therefore, need to practice honesty as they keep God as the head of their homes.
“Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you.” Genesis 12:13 NKJV
This Bible verse epitomizes a lie told in the context of marriage when Abram asked Sara to lie to save his life. Sara complied and lied, saying that she was Abraham's sister and God, in turn, punished Pharaoh, who ignorantly took Sarai in and would have eventually made her his wife.
Abram did not trust God to spare his life even though God had promised to make him the father of many generations, and as such, he sought to deceive the Egyptians. Many times, even in our marriages, we lie because of a lack of trust. God has promised that he will never leave us or forsake us and as such, telling a lie is never the solution.
“Therefore, putting away lying, "Let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.” Ephesians 4:25-27
God forbids lying in all relationships – neighbors, friends, family, and more so in marriage. When we lie to our spouses, we invite the devil into our marriage, as one lie often leads to another.
Similarly, it may be difficult to lie at first, but after the first lie, the second becomes easier, and so on. In a relationship, you may be tempted to justify your reason for lying, but as Jesus told the Jews in John 8:31, "the truth will set you free."
Lying to cover our mistakes is never the solution. God wants us to be honest in all our dealings.
Bible verses about Lying to Parents
Many, if not all of us, are guilty of lying to our parents at one time or the other. Children sometimes lie because they fear being beaten or punished, while others may lie to avoid the consequences of an action and others because they do not want to disappoint their parents.
As can be expected, the Bible does have stories of children who lied to their parents and admonitions to avoid this practice. Journey with me as we explore these scriptures:
“Then he said, “Are you really my son Esau?” He said, “I am.” Genesis 12:24 NKJV
This story of Jacob scheming to steal his brother’s birthright engenders a variety of emotions. As you read the story in Genesis 12, you may be disappointed in Jacob, angry at Rebekah, the mother, for inciting such a scheme, and you may feel sorry for Isaac, who was tricked.
Jacob lied several times throughout the conversation with his father and was eventually given the blessing that belonged to his twin brother. As we follow Jacob's story, we realize that Jacob was in turn tricked by his uncle Laban in Genesis 29:25, "…What is this you have done to me? Was it not for Rachel that I served you? Why then have you deceived me?”
The truth is that sometimes the consequences of a lie can be long-lasting, and we know that Jacob's family relationship was fraught with issues until the day he died.
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise:” Ephesians 6:1-2 NKJV.
This is a well-known verse that is often quoted to or by children. A promise of the blessing of long life is given in Exodus 20:12 to children who listen to and adhere to their parents' instructions.
Often children lie to cover their disobedience, and such behavior nullifies the blessings that God has promised. Parents should teach their children the value of honesty as this principle is applicable in all spheres of life.
“‘Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” Deuteronomy 5:16 NKJV
In this verse, as Moses reiterated the commands to the children of Israel, he reminded them of the blessing of long life that follows children who honor their parents. In Peter 3:10, we read, “For “He who would love life and see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit."
Peter gives the recipe for a long and happy life, and it requires that one avoids telling lies. Children who lie to their parents dishonor them, and by extension, miss out on the promised blessing of long life and joyful days.
Bible verses about Consequences of Lying
Breaking God's commands comes with consequences, and lying is no different. Lying is a detrimental habit that ruins relationships and also tarnishes your reputation. No one wants to interact with a known liar. Outside of those general consequences, the Word of God has a lot to say about both the short and long-term consequences of lying.
“A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who speaks lies shall perish.” Proverbs 19:9 NKJV
The essence of this verse is also mentioned in Proverbs 19:5, an indication of the seriousness of this principle. Proverbs 6:9 describes a false witness as “one who gives false testimony, and one who stirs up discord among brothers.”
God will deal justly with those who use lies and false testimonies to divide his church and hurt his children. Those who insist on practicing lies will perish in hellfire along with Satan, the author of lies. We have to be mindful of the words we speak the truth at all times; otherwise, we will perish.
“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8 NKJV
While we know that all sin is sin, we cannot help but gasp at the fact that liars are grouped with murderers and sorcerers on the list of those bound for the lake of fire.
Romans 6:23 reminds us that "the wages of sin is death…" so those who insist on lying must face this eternal consequence. A lie may seem like a simple thing as one seeks to get out of trouble or profit from a cause, but the implications are lifelong and the consequences ultimately devastating—eternal death.
"But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life." Revelation 21:27 NKJV
As Christians, we endure the temporary aches and pains, trials and tribulations, frustrations and hurdles because our ultimate goal is to make heaven our home. In John 14, Jesus promised that he has gone to prepare a place for us in his father's mansion, and he will come and take us to live with him.
What a beautiful promise! However, those that cause a lie will not be able to enter this heavenly home. The criteria are clear. Liars will miss out on this heavenly home because only those who are written in the Book of Life will enter.
"You shall destroy those who speak falsehood; the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.” Psalm 5:6 NKJV
Destruction awaits those who spread lies and seek to deceive others. The Lord hates such practices, and his judgment is sure. "Therefore, the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and your descendants forever." And he went out from his presence leprous, as white as snow."
2 Kings 5:27 This epitomized God's judgment on Gehazi for lying, and cheating Naaman of the gifts he had brought for the prophet, Elisha. God's hatred for lies is as relevant today as it was back in the Bible days.
"Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams," says the Lord, "and tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies and by their recklessness. Yet I did not send them or command them; therefore, they shall not profit these people at all," says the Lord." Jeremiah 23:32 NKJV
This verse is supported by Jeremiah 23:1, where God proclaims through his prophet, "Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!" says the LORD."
Those who lie and cause God's people to do wrong are not beneficial to God's people, and God disapproves of their ways. God stands against those who spread false prophecies, and he will eventually destroy them. As per Jeremiah 27:10, he will banish them, and they will all perish.
"But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie." Revelation 22:15 NKJV
This previous verse in Revelation 22 speaks to those who will enter the heavenly city through the gates, while this verse describes those who will be left outside. The truth is that those who love and practice a lie will not be able to enter heaven.
1 Corinthians 6:9 asks us a sobering question: "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?" The ultimate consequence of lying is eternal damnation. No liar will be able to enter the heavenly courts.
Many often try to justify their reason for lying, but God detests lying and deceit. He warns his people to put away these practices, and his Word outlines direct examples and the unfavorable consequences that will follow liars.
We have nothing to gain by engaging in this practice, and as such, we should guard our hearts since the mouth speaketh out of the abundance of the heart. Commit your heart and lips to God today, and seek his strength to avoid the sin of lying and deceit.