I recently heard of a phenomenon called the “Necessary Lie Syndrome.” I doubt that it’s a technical term, but it describes the lie that we tell ourselves in order to continue in a desired behavior. For instance, the overeater, will lie to himself, “I’ll start my diet tomorrow.” The alcoholic will say to himself, “I’ll stop drinking after this one.” The unwise investor will say, “This investment will be different.” With the lie in hand, the overeater, alcoholic and unwise investor will carry on in their desired activity, contrary to what they know is true.
The Bible speaks of a similar lie that people tell themselves. It’s the lie of denying the Creator. “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:25). In order to rid themselves of the obedience required by the Creator, men will often lie and deny the existence of God. Thus, they can continue to live any way that they desire. They “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18).
This is the fundamental lie of all lies.