Our hearts and consciences become hard and leathery once we start to tell lies, such that it gets easier and easier, until it becomes habitual

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From “Growing in the character of a disciple”: Chapter 9 – What is ‘the love of the truth’ and why does truth matter so much to God?

Once a person begins to lie, they will do it again in bigger ways, and with increasing frequency. Then lying gets easier, in the following ways:

a) Our conscience is slowly turned down in volume, until it is eventually switched off completely. This is how one gets a hard heart, or a seared conscience. It no longer receives any ‘signal’ from God about what is right or wrong. When that point comes we are in great danger because our conscience, which is a God-given safety device, has been switched off.

b) We get more imaginative in the lies we tell. They become more elaborate and extensive.

c) We feel more comfortable and less convicted about our sinfulness. Our ‘carbon monoxide detectors’ are switched off. In the end we become so deeply comatose that we become oblivious to our dishonesty.

d) This hard-heartedness can also affect those who purport to be a Christians. It is easy to convince oneself that all is well, no matter how great our sins may be. I am reminded of a man in a church in Northern Ireland who was a dentist. He had murdered his first wife 20 years earlier and got away with it. He subsequently remarried another woman. She was a Christian and knew nothing of his crime. For 20 years he attended church, while continuing to hide his crime. He had no repentance at all and no concept of God’s impending judgment for what he had done. How many of us who purport to be Christians have similarly hard and unrepentant hearts, even if our sins are less spectacular?

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