Help, LORD, for the godly are no more; the faithful have vanished from among men. Everyone lies to his neighbor; their flattering lips speak with deception. May the LORD cut off all flattering lips and every boastful tongue that says, "We will triumph with our tongues; we own our lips - who is our master?" "Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise," says the LORD. "I will place them in the safety for which they long." And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times. O LORD, you will keep us safe and protect us from such people forever. The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men. (Psalm 12:1-8)
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When I was a kid... I struggled a lot with white lies. For some reason, it always seemed "easier" to tell a short lie than explain a long truth. It was as if my quick "fix" enabled me to still do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. Before long, it became something that I did not even have to think about. I would lie, boast, and flatter to benefit myself; to "control" things to fit my agenda.
And that is exactly what lying is... an attempt at controlling the situation to fit our own individual agendas. And before you separate yourself from "terrible" little Gregory, please do not miss the reality: lies are all around us...and more than we think...they are also in us.
This world, as David writes, is full of "flattering lips" and "boastful tongues" - people who use their false words for selfish gain. They are depicted as "their own masters," living life for their own glory. You can go into any public place and quickly pick up on this; in shopping malls, in airports, at sporting events...even at church.
You see, the humbling truth is that most of us have lived as "children" of this world MUCH longer than we have lived as "children of the Lord." And though we are new in Christ, we have so many habits inside of us that still fit our old ways. We still want to control life. We still want what we want and when we want it.
Think about it. Today, you are going to have so many opportunities to control your surroundings; to lie, to boast, to flatter, or to "stretch the truth" even a little. This psalm teaches us that without even saying the word "God," our mouths can proclaim who our master is.
Do we control our tongue...or does the Lord? Do our words promote a selfish agenda...or a Kingdom agenda? Do our lips glorify ourselves...or our God?
When we get caught up in this way of thinking, we slip into living anything but truth-filled lives. Notice what David says: the opposite of the lying world is the flawless word of God. If we want to escape flattering lips - our flattering lips - then we must consume God's flawless words; for His words are about helping the oppressed and providing for the needy.
So today, let us be people of the Lord, choosing to leave behind our own selfish and "quick" agendas to play a role what God is doing for those around us. Ask Him to help you with this.
Feel free to share today's devotional - and join us again tomorrow.
Greg, Declare Glory