One day I got home from church and my son asked me about a story I had told in my sermon. “Dad, did that really happen or was that just preaching?”
Ouch. So my son thinks his Preacher Dad is a big liar. I thought I made it clear when I was telling true stories and when I was using “parables” to make a point, but apparently my son didn’t think so. So let me make this abundantly clear. The following is a story that did not happen. As far as I know, somebody made it up. But it makes a good point about telling the truth:
A pastor came upon a group of boys who were all standing around a dog and talking excitedly. Concerned that they might harm the dog, he ran over to them and asked, “What are you boys doing with that dog?”
“He’s just an old dog,” explained one boy. “But we all want him. So we decided to have a contest to see who should get him.”
“We decided that whoever could tell the biggest lie would win the dog,” added another boy.
“You shouldn’t do that,” the pastor exclaimed. Then the reverend launched into a sermon on the evils of lying, and concluded by saying, “When I was your age, I never told a lie.”
There was a long silence. The pastor thought he had gotten through to them. Then the youngest boy sighed and said, “Alright, give the preacher the dog.”
Maybe those boys knew the Bible better than the minister did. As 1 John 1:10 says, “If we say, ‘We have not sinned,’ we make Him [God] a liar, and His word is not in us.”
While we might not all lie all the time, we have all lied at some time. The Bible says if we claim we haven’t, we’re calling God a liar.
The truth is that the only way I can get into Heaven is to be honest enough to admit I’m a liar and I need Jesus, who is the truth (John 14:6). And that’s the truth, so help me, God.
Copyright 2007 by Bob Rogers. Read this column each Thursday for a mix of religion and humor. You can read more “Holy Humor” on the Web page of First Baptist Church of Rincon at www.fbcrincon.com.