The most insulting phrase to Americans is “You are a liar!” Accusing someone of this could lead to a fight.
The reason why Americans are sensitive to being called liars may come from the Christian culture they are surrounded by. Christ called himself the truth: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6).” He called Satan the father of lies”: “He [the devil] is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44).” Avoiding lies and telling the truth is important in Christian culture.
Asians in general are not particularly shy about telling lies. Certain lies are even recommended. For example, it is considered polite to say that you have already had a meal even when you haven’t. If you told the truth, those who asked may feel obligated to provide a meal. It is also common in Asian countries to lie to terminal patients about their true medical condition so as not to disturb and worry them.
As benevolent as the motives may be, lying opens a door for the devil to enter people’s lives and influence them. Lying prevents the Holy Spirit from working in peoples’ lives because He operates only in truth. This is why people’s faith grows rapidly when they stop selling bogus merchandise or falsifying their tax reports. When they start living truthfully, the devil loses a foothold, and the Holy Spirit begins to work in their lives.
It makes me sad to see some Christians engage in small lies against this spiritual principle. I have heard that some people pay the children’s price and take an adult portion when they buy lunch in the fellowship hall. Some take more multiple portions after paying for only one. Sister Baek has had to buy a stew pan three times, because they keep disappearing from the kitchen. Brother Yoo, the Fellowship Committee chairman, reported that in the last 3 months, 165 medium size spoons, 8 large sized spoons, and 7 scissors used to cut meat have disappeared. Many coffee pots have also disappeared from the fellowship hall, too many to count. Insignificant as they may seem, these are all acts of lying.
It is also an act of lying for people who are not physically handicapped to park their cars in spaces reserved for the handicapped, or for members to park in spaces reserved for first or second time visitors. We must remember that when we lie, we are welcoming the devil into our lives. When we live in the truth, we deprive the devil of a foothold in our lives and free ourselves from his influence.
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