Faith and Reflection. FILE PHOTO

Being found a liar is hurtful and embarrassing

“Those who believe it is all right to tell little white lies soon grow colour blind.”

Nearly four decades ago I met with staff members from our Christian school to discuss a student that had cheated on an exam, who when confronted had blatantly lied about the matter. Several excuses for her behaviour were brought forward; “she is new to our school…from a different culture…is struggling with insecurity” and “is it really such a big deal?” My response was simply, “Where I come from it’s called lying and should not be ignored or normalized.” The incident reminded me of Austin O’Malley’s aphorism on honesty. He wrote, “Those who believe it is all right to tell little white lies soon grow colour blind.”

Dishonesty is serious and injurious. Proverbs 12:24 says, “The Lord detests lying lips, but He delights in people who are trustworthy” and the ninth commandment demands “You must not lie.” (Exodus 20:16)

To overcome dishonesty in our lives we must begin by admitting that we are not only capable but culpable – we have all lied and to deny such is simply to add another falsehood to the list. This is not to suggest that we are all chronic or pathological liars. It is to propose that first, we have all struggled in this area and second, we probably lie more than we think we do. This is so, because in principle a lie is not just blatantly stated untruths, but may be a partial or half-truth, the omission of truth, the deliberate clouding or veiling of truth, or simply disseminating information from our personal perspective, which will always lack objectivity and be geared to making us look good.

Lying is not only insidious and harmful but it is also, by nature, addictive and habit-forming. Lies are counterproductive in terms of what they accomplish, but they are very productive in terms of giving birth to new lies. One lie tends to precipitate another, often beginning with denial of the first, and then adding new lies to cover previous falsehoods. Not only is this endless, but it is also futile. As Abraham Lincoln said, “No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar”.

Every liar will ultimately be caught. The moment of being found a liar is hurtful and embarrassing; relationships are injured and trust erodes. These alone should provide powerful motivation for not lying. However, the fact that God knows of our lies before they are uttered should, especially for believers, be the paramount motive for being honest.

Since lying begins internally and manifests externally, it is the internal that needs help. David’s prayer in Psalm 51:10 is quite applicable. He prayed, “God, create a pure heart in me and renew a right attitude within me.”

Ephesians 4:25 tells us how we can know that we’ve been cured of lying. It says, “…put away lying and speak the truth…” It is not enough to stop lying; the cessation of lies is required, but the inception and practice of speaking the truth is indispensable.

Just Posted

Trek to Mt. Everest’s base camp an awe inspiring experience for Sylvan Lake resident

Perle Campbell said looking back on the experience is like a dream.

Stettler has fun-filled day planned for Canada Day

Fireworks, entertainment at West Settler Park

Changes coming to this year’s Big Valley Jamboree

Camrose’s popular country music festival ‘enhances guest experience’

Scenic trail ride raises funds for STARS air ambulance

Battle River Ride for STARS hopes to reach this year’s goal

Stettler gears up for annual Communities in Bloom challenge

As the 2011 National Champs, the Town now competes in the international category

Astronaut David Saint-Jacques returns to Earth, sets Canadian space record

Native of Saint-Lambert, Que., set a record for longest single spaceflight by a Canadian at 204 days

Ponoka County receives update from energy lobby group

CAPP hopes to work with municipalities on property tax issues

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Late night fight in Wetaskiwin results in aggravated assault, assault with a weapon charges

Wetaskiwin RCMP investigate armed robbery and aggravated assault

Maskwacis featured in documentary series that unearths Indigenous cuisine

Red Chef Revival’s host visits community, elders and Nipisihkopahk School

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Fighter Jets light up Bucs’ to take AFL first place

38-3 loss puts Central Alberta into second place in the AFL

PHOTOS: Scamp the Tramp wins World’s Ugliest Dog Contest

‘He’s Scamp the Champ, no longer Scamp the Tramp,’ his Californian owner said.

Most Read