There is an old saying that “The proud and the liar are brothers.” There is a lot of truth in that statement as the two problems often are found side by side. Without thinking about it we might not guess that pride and lying are related, but it’s a truth found in the Bible itself – where the two vices are frequently mentioned together. Look at a couple of examples in the Book of Psalms:
“Let their lying lips be silenced, for with pride and contempt they speak arrogantly against the righteous” (Psalm 31:18).
“For the sins of their mouths, for the words of their lips, let them be caught in their pride. For the curses and lies they utter” (Psalm 59:12).
Do you see how the two problems are connected and how their relationship is clear in these verses? Notice another example in the Book of Proverbs:
“haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood” (Proverbs 6:17).
Haughtiness is of course, pride: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). “Haughty eyes” are simply eyes that pridefully look down on others.
Consider one final example: “...Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate” (Proverbs 8:13 ESV).
The connection between pride and lying runs throughout the Scriptures. Two of the major traits that the Bible seems to mention of Satan the devil are that he was filled with pride (Isaiah 14:12-14 suggests this figuratively along with Ezekiel 28:14, 16-17) and that he was the “father of lies” (John 8:44). Other scriptures speak of what that being does, but these are two traits that particularly personify what he is.
So “Pride” (who also goes by “haughtiness,” “arrogance” and several other aliases) is almost always to be found in the company of “the Liar.” Biblical verses that warn us of one frequently warn us of the other and if we see one, the other is likely not far behind. This is understandable because lying is almost always a result of wanting to somehow look better in the eyes of others. Sometimes lies are told to cut others down or to elevate the self, but these failings are also manifestations of underlying pride.
This is important because – as many Christians have found – pride is probably the hardest sin to see in our own lives. It may be obvious to others when we suffer from it, but our own pride may be nearly invisible to us. Knowing the relationship between pride and lying can help us. In that sense, being alert to lying, exaggeration or shading of the truth in our lives can be an “early warning system” that makes us aware of the proximity of pride.
“Pride” and “the Liar” are certainly brothers, and they are two brothers we must beware of. But knowing their close relationship helps us in our personal growth. If we begin to see indications of one of these problems in our lives, we can know that the other is not far away – and we can be especially vigilant to avoid them both.