From “Growing in the character of a disciple”: Chapter 10 – How we can develop ‘the love of the truth’ and the character quality , and habit, of truthfulness?
Lying is addictive. If you continue lying then it will become a settled habit. You can’t set a limit on how often you’ll lie, or on what level of seriousness of lies you are willing to tell. If you are prepared to lie at all, to any degree, then you will, inevitably, end up lying more and more. Eventually you will find that you lie almost all the time. You can’t just remain at a certain level.
That’s another reason why you have to come off it cold turkey and resolve to tell no lies at all. Then you will find yourself getting more and more truthful, until that too becomes a habit, just as lying used to be. Eventually you will come to love the truth for its own sake, quite apart from the many benefits it brings.
What if telling the truth is costly or painful?
We have already seen that there is a price to pay when you tell the truth and sometimes a very high price. There’s no denying that it brings trouble. However, the cost of not telling the truth is always very much higher. The price you pay for telling the truth is generally limited and short term. However, the cost of lying is unlimited and long term. Indeed, whether we are a Christian or not, it is eternal.
For an unbeliever, it leads to the Lake of Fire. For a Christian, it will lead to the loss of some, or perhaps all, of the rewards we would otherwise have received at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Either way, those are really tragic consequences. And they are both eternal.