Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Lies, Lies, Lies

Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.” – Ephesians 4:25

I recently watched a TED talk called “How to Spot a Liar” by Pamela Meyer.  In it she said one thing that stunned me.  Why? Because it’s TRUE.

We all lie.  Continually.
Imagine for a minute that your life is a journey down a long path, and lies are blockades you cannot see behind.  Here’s one, there’s one, there’s three to the left, there’s a bit one up ahead, and so forth.  Can you imagine how many lies you’ve heard and believed that have taken you off the course of the life God planned for you?  Can you imagine the possibilities if we were all truthful with each other in the smallest things?

I think we lie most because the truth is painful.  It’s either painful to the one that has to tell it, or to the one that has to hear it.  That being said, we are told to be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves (Matthew 10:16) with those around us.  Can we not communicate the truth with the softness of a dove and wisdom? 
Here’s what happens in relationships when a lie is told.  Sure, sometimes they’re believed at that point, and nothing happens.  But sometimes, and more often than we will realize, they’re not.  When someone catches you in a lie, they don’t come up to you and say “Hey, the other day you said blah blah blah, and now I know that wasn’t the truth.”  Because we all lie, they just take mental note of it.  What’s that mental note say?  It says “Don’t trust them, they lie”.   All it takes is one lie to break someone’s trust.  One. 

Some are more forgiving than others.  For me, honesty and trustworthiness is of big value in my relationships.  Yes, I want to know if the dress makes me look fat – and I even want to know how fat.  But do I want to hear “Oh my gosh! That dress shows every roll on your body!”  Well of course not.  What I’d like to hear is something more like, “You know, I’d bet you have a dress that fits you better than that one.  It’s just not a good cut for you.”  Now see the difference?  The second statement is wise and as harmless as a dove. 
How important is it that we be truthful to each other?  According to God, it’s important to make His top 1o list with “Do not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16).  It also makes the list of the 6 things that God HATES in in Proverbs 6:19.  Moreover, in God’s eyes, if you’ve not kept all the commandments, you’ve broken them all.  (“For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.” – James 2:10).  Sin is sin.  And sometimes I don’t think we consider lying a sin.  I think we’ve brushed over it, coloring our lies as white lies, gray lies, or…wait…hmmm….  Isn’t it odd that we never talk about black lies, but stop at gray? 

There’s a book by Dr. Brad Blanton called “Radical Honesty: How to Transform your Life by Telling the Truth”.  The title itself says everything.  Honesty will transform your life!  Holding it in high value will change those that you care to call friends – and determine who you want to be your friend.  It will fix relationships that are on the brink of crash and burn.  It will abolish the stress you feel because you’ll be able to put it on the table and deal with it.  You see, God’s hatred of lying comes from His love for us, as do all the things that He’s asked us not to do. 
I’m going to suggest that, as the old saying goes, “today is the first day of the rest of your life”.  How about today we begin being radically honest.  Let’s take time to find the words to say what needs to be said with wisdom and gentleness.  It will change our lives.