God never lies. This is an uncontroversial statement. Who would think that God could tell a lie? No, Satan is the “father of lies.” Jesus himself said that (John 8:44).
But God does not lie. Paul, I suppose, was stressing the eternal truth-telling of God in contrast with the residents of Crete, who “are always liars.” That’s a strong statement. We’re shocked Paul could be so bold in describing a whole group of people in this way. This kind of statement, to our modern ears, rubs us the wrong way.
We want to say, “Be nice, Paul.”
But I wonder whether perhaps there’s a point here Paul was making that we ought to let settle into our minds. God is eternally truthful. Cretans always lie. The two are on opposite ends of a spectrum. God’s words are always true. Cretans speak deceit.
To which side of that spectrum do you stand? Are you closer to God or the Cretans?
Be careful how you answer that question. You might find yourself again saying, “Be nice, Paul.”
Our attitudes as it relates to sin, particularly the sin of dishonesty, is an especially important one in our walk of faith. When we are dishonest, we can lead others astray. And when we are dishonest, we even can lead ourselves astray.
We must learn to be truthful with both ourselves – “Am I, indeed, a sinner?” And we must be truthful with others – “Yes, I am indeed a sinner, but there is a Savior.”
God never lies, and a Christian continually strives to speak truth in every moment in life, hoping to become more and more like God.