by M. Kenneth Lyon

This content is part of a series.

Telling the Truth (8 of 10)
Series: Taking control of Your Life
M. Kenneth Lyon
Exodus 20:16
August 29, 1999

Imagine his consternation. He's out walking in the field. He comes to the orchard. There in the orchard was his favorite fruit tree now lying before him on the ground, cut off at ground level, the instrument of its destruction lying right beside it. He's incensed. He goes back up to the house. He calls everybody out of the household. He's a wealthy, so he calls everybody out of the household--his wife, his children, all of the servants, all of his hired hands. They're standing there in the heat of the day. And he paces back and forth in front of them. And he says, "You have no idea how long I spent trying to get that tree up out of the ground to where it would bear fruit. You have no idea how much time I spent cultivating it, bringing in the fertilizer, tenderly treating it. You have no idea how much I have enjoyed the fruit of that tree and the deep-dish cherry cobbler that I love so very much. And now I'll never taste its sweetness again. And not one of you is going to move from this place until the guilty party steps forward and confesses his or her wrongdoing." Knowing that this was not an easy man to live with, knowing that the penalty would be rather harsh--no, don't do it again kind of grace in this--they waited until one stepped forward, the young man's son and said, "Father, I cannot tell a lie. I chopped down the cherry tree." And in the annals of American mythical culture, the name of that young man was (George Washington).

How many of you believe that story? There's some who want to. Perhaps the reason we have such difficulty in believing that story is because we know in our own experience, in our own lives, in our own heart that we are very capable of telling a lie. It's not that we can't. We know all too well that we can. And it's not so much that we get up and plan the day, "Well, today I'm going to tell 4 lies. Yeah, 4 lies. Th ...

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