As you know, a lie is something you say that you know is not true. Have you ever told a lie?—* Even some grown-ups who love God have lied. You probably know about a person in the Bible who did. His name is Peter, one of Jesus’ 12 apostles. Let’s listen to the story about why he told some lies.
After Jesus is arrested, he is taken to the home of the high priest. It is well past the middle of the night. Peter gets into the courtyard of the priest’s home without being recognized. In the light of a fire, the high priest’s servant girl who let Peter in recognizes him. “You, too, were with Jesus,” she says. Peter, in fear, says he was not.
The Bible says that later “another girl noticed him.” She said: “This man was with Jesus.” Again, Peter denies it. After a little while, others go up to Peter and say: “Certainly you also are one of them.”
Peter is scared. So for the third time, he lies, saying: “I do not know the man!” A rooster crows. Jesus looks at Peter, and Peter remembers that a few hours earlier, Jesus told him: “Before a cock crows, you will disown me three times.” Peter breaks down and cries. He is so sorry!
Could a thing like that happen to you?— You may be at school and hear students talking about Jehovah’s Witnesses. “They don’t salute the flag,” one says. “They don’t fight for their country,” another adds. Still another claims, “They really aren’t Christians, because they don’t celebrate Christmas.” Then one turns to you and asks, “Aren’t you one of Jehovah’s Witnesses?” What will you say?—
Before such a thing happens, you need to be prepared to give a good answer. Peter was not prepared. When pressure came, he lied! Yet, he was very sorry about what he had done, and God forgave him.
Ananias, another early disciple of Jesus, also lied. But God did not forgive either him or his wife, Sapphira. She had agreed with her husband to tell the lie. Let’s see why God did not forgive Ananias and Sapphira.
Ten days after Jesus left the apostles and returned to God in heaven, some 3,000 people are baptized in Jerusalem. Many have come from distant lands to celebrate the Festival of Pentecost, and after becoming disciples of Jesus, they want to stay longer to learn more about their new faith. So some of Jesus’ disciples use their own money to take care of them.
Ananias and his wife sell some property to get money to help the newly baptized ones. When Ananias brings the money to the apostles, he says it is the total amount from the sale. But it is not! He keeps some money for himself! God lets Peter know this, so Peter tells Ananias: “You have played false, not to men, but to God.” At that, Ananias falls down dead! About three hours later, his wife comes in. Not knowing what has happened to her husband, she also tells a lie and falls down dead.
What a powerful lesson this is: Telling the truth is important! Yes, we all need to learn it! Yet, we all will make mistakes, especially when we are young. Are you not happy that Jehovah loves you and will forgive you even as he did Peter?— But remember, we need to tell the truth. And if we ever make the big mistake of lying, we need to ask, yes, beg God to forgive us. That is what Peter must have done, and he was forgiven. If we try hard not to lie anymore, God will forgive us too!
If you are reading with a child, the dash provides a reminder to pause and encourage the child to express himself.