I receive numerous “news story” e-mails several times a month. Most are political. I also see a lot of them on Facebook. What I don’t see is where these stories have been confirmed. Every once in a while I hop onto Snopes.com to check them out.
About 95% of the time, the information forwarded is false. They are urban legends passed on from one e-mail to the next. There is currently one making the rounds that claims that Mitt Romney said he can relate to “black people” because his ancestors once owned slaves. This one is so ridiculous it’s absurd. Or the fact that Lowes sells American flag doormats. That is also not true. They sell doormats with patriotic colors, but none with the American flag. The sad part is people actually believe these, especially if it comes from a friend.
Passing on an e-mail of this sort is on different than if you were telling the lie. It doesn’t matter whether you were the one who came up with it or not. God doesn’t differentiate between sins. Lying is the same as murder in the Lord’s eyes. Proverbs 19:22 reads, What a person desires is unfailing love; better to be poor than a liar.
Wow! It is better to be poor than a liar. That’s harsh. God knows the reason we tell lies. It’s to hurt others and to make ourselves look better. And once you get away with lying, you’ll move on to something else like stealing. Lying is usually the easiest of sins to get away with. It’s also the sin that hides all the others.
Passing on lies is the same as telling the lie yourself. Before you forward an e-mail or post that Facebook information, check to see if it’s true. Snopes.com is the best place to do this. If you don’t have the time to check, don’t forward it or post it.
If you’re like me, you have enough to beg God’s forgiveness for, without adding something as ridiculous as passing on an untrue e-mail.