It seems impossible to turn around without being confronted with a lie, a so-called half-truth, or a statement you can’t be sure is truth or a lie because the teller has lied one-too-many, two-too-many, countless-too-many times.
I can’t control others. I can’t make anyone tell the truth. Or own their responsibility in an ugly situation. I can’t fix the emptiness that makes people perpetuate their incomplete, and therefore untrue, version of a situation for validation. I can’t stop the ripple effect as a relationship full of lies destroys a family. I can’t repair a society that depends on an intricate weaving of lies to function.
Any sin we hold onto is fertile ground for deceit.
When I Tell the Truth
I envy. I covet. I doubt. I hate. I still struggle in my thought life. Worse than that, at times it takes me longer than it should to struggle, because it’s so much easier to live in a fantasy in my head than keep on engaging the world as it is, others as they are, and myself as I am. The sin of ingratitude leads to dissatisfaction, which makes returning to a life of moving fantasy into reality oh, so tempting.
There’s so much about my life that I don’t like, that I wouldn’t have chosen. The irony is that much of what I wouldn’t choose is a direct result of choices I made.
Why are we so short-sighted?
Following My Heart
Our cultural obsession with telling people to follow your heart is one of the worst things about our society. It creates and perpetuates all types of ills.
I feel unhappy, so I must find the next thing to make me feel happy. And the next. And the next. And the next.
It never stops.
Our hearts are deceitful. We let them lie to us, and they motivate us to lie to others. We want to manage how we appear. We want to get what we want.
Training up A Child
As a parent, there’s something else I can do. Sunday School teachers and youth leaders can also help.
Kids lie. And each day I’m further convinced of the importance of confronting the child who needs to follow up mistakes with That’s what I meant or a straight-out lie that they didn’t say or do whatever is in question. Recasting one’s role in a situation, or rationalizing, to avoid taking responsibility for behavior is wrong at any age.
A child who can’t stand to tell the truth or let a truth stand if it casts him in a negative light will become the adult who lies as naturally as he breathes.
Bearing False Witness
There’s no end to the good reasons God forbids lying. And I’m crushed under the weight of our consequences. Society is twisted and broken with lies, but would cease to function if suddenly all were revealed or it became impossible for us to speak an untruth.
Business. Government. Families. Screeching to a halt. Society couldn’t function without the power of lies fueling oppression and manipulation, and the web of deceit that allows cooperation.
No one needs to be taught to lie. It’s an instinct of self-preservation. Some of us are just better at it than others; some are better at rationalizing the necessity to lie. Integrity requires effort. It can cost to tell the truth. Lies make life easier in the moment, but make a very poor foundation on which to build a life, a relationship, or a society.
I am Weary
I’m part of the problem I don’t want to be part of. I don’t want to be a lie.
I may not be able to stop hearing another lie, but I don’t want to accept even one more.
The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?
Jeremiah 17:9, NASB
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life…”
John 14:6, NASB
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