Main Point: Even though the world is filled with people who lie, as followers of Christ, we must always tell the truth because He has made us new.
The Movie Clip: Everybody Lies
Liar, Liar is a movie that dates back to the era of most youth workers…which is prior to the era of many of the students in our ministries. It stars Jim Carey – in his heyday – as a lawyer who is very successful because he lies so well. But his world is turned upside down when his son Max makes a birthday wish asking that his dad not be able to lie for one whole day.
The movie is rated PG-13 and contains a lot of sexual dialogue and crude humor (although this clip is completely free of any of those elements).
Introducing the Clip:
I want to show you a clip from the movie Liar, Liar, which is about a lawyer who’s very successful in life, mainly because he’s a good liar. But when his lies begin to creep into his personal life, his young son Max makes a wish at his birthday party asking that his dad wouldn’t be able to tell a lie for one whole day. Well, Max’s wish comes true, and hilarity ensues. Fletcher, his lying father, has his world crash down around him. When he figures out what has happened to him, he tries to undo what Max has done. Let’s take a look to see if he can.
BEGIN CLIP AT 0 HOURS 36 MINUTES AND 0 SECONDS.
This is a rather long clip, so only the key dialogue will be given verbatim. The rest is just a scene description.
The scene opens with Max’s divorced parents having an argument at the car impound. Fletcher has already come to grips with the fact that he can’t lie – but he doesn’t know why. In the course of the argument, he finds out from his ex-wife that Max used his birthday wish from the night before to try and stop his dad from lying. After Fletcher realizes what’s happened to him, he visits Max at school and tries to get Max to “unwish” his wish.
Fletcher: I need you to take back that wish.
Max: So you can lie?
Fletcher: Yes, but not to you! You see, Max, sometimes, grownups need to lie. It’s hard to explain, but…. Max, no one can survive in the adult world if they have to stick to the truth. I could lose my case. I could lose my promotion. I could even lose my job. Now, I need your help, Max! Ok?
They light another candle and Max blows it out after making another wish. Fletcher tests it; it didn’t work.
Max: Did it work?
Fletcher: Not like I’d hoped. Did you unwish it?
Fletcher: What? Only what?
Max: Only yesterday when I wished it, I really meant it. This time when I unwished it, I only did it cause you told me to.
Fletcher: Alright, we’ll do it again, and this time, mean it.
Max: But I can’t.
Fletcher: Why not?
Max: Cause I don’t want you to lie.
Fletcher: I explained this. I have to lie. Everybody lies.
END CLIP AT 0 HOURS AND 41 MINUTES AND 25 SECONDS.
Everybody lies. That’s what Fletcher said. Everybody lies. Sadly, that’s true. You and I have been told lies, and even worse, we’ve told lies to others. It’s true…but it need not be. Even though the world is filled with people who tell lies, as followers of Christ, you and I must always tell the truth because He has made us new. Truth is too rare these days. Let’s spend some time talking about how you and I can better honor Jesus by always telling the truth.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRLCE: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share our names and something we’ve been lied to about in life.
- ASK A FEW: If you could make a wish that no one would ever lie to you again, would you do it or not? Why?
- ASK A FEW: In the clip, Fletcher said, “Sometimes, grownups need to lie.” Do you agree or disagree? Why?
- ASK A FEW: Fletcher believed there were consequences for telling the truth – like saying his pregnant wife looked fat. What do you think? Are there?
- ASK A FEW: Let’s pursue this a little further. Are there more consequences for telling the truth or for telling a lie? Explain.
- ASK A FEW: Fletcher also says in the clip, “Everybody lies.” Do you know someone who doesn’t? If so, who?
- ASK A FEW: Do you think it’s possible to stop lying altogether?
Read the following passage:
Colossians 3:2-10 (NIV)
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
Tonight, we’ve been talking about the reality that “everybody lies.” Yeah, it’s true, that all of us have lied, but the really scary part is that so many of us believe that we MUST lie to get by in life. It’s one thing to admit to lying; it’s another to think it has to be a way of life.
That’s what I want us to understand tonight. Yes, we all have to admit that we’ve all lied in the past. But you might also have walked in here thinking that lying has to be a part of your future, as well.
The passage we read was point blank. Paul says stop lying. Even he knew that people told lies, but he was totally unwilling for them to continue doing so. If lying had to be a part of our lives, the Bible would warn us that that was the case. It doesn’t, so lying must not be mandatory. But just to seal the deal, every time the Bible talks about lying, it condemns it as sin.
Perhaps you need to understand how Jesus viewed lying if you are to make a serious change in your life. In John 8, Jesus was having a conversation with some Jews who were giving Him a tough time. They didn’t believe Jesus, and had been falsely accusing Him, which was a serious offense back in that time period. Jesus simply says, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
Jesus told it like it was! His teaching remains true to this day. When you and I tell lies, we’re just talking like the devil…the father of lies.
So, what’s it going to be? Will you tell the truth at all times? Even if it’s tough? Even if it’s inconvenient? Even if it costs you? Even if it gets you in trouble? I’ll be the first to admit that telling the truth all the time isn’t easy, but it’s soooo much better than telling lies.
My hope for you is simple: no matter when you told your last lie, whether it was last week or last year, I hope it was the last lie of your life.
It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. And that’s the truth!
Close in Prayer
Written by David R Smith
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.