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The Lies We Tell

A practical and scriptural look at what motivates us to lie and how we can begin to recognize, acknowledge and prevent the practice of deceit.

Lance Armstrong—husband, father of five, professional cyclist, seven-time Tour de France champion, author, and yet another number in the long line of public figures who have conspired, cheated and denied only in the end to admit. 

I recently read a research article in The Journal of Basic and Applied Psychology that stated that 60 percent of the people surveyed lied at least once during a 10-minute conversation saying on average 2.92 inaccurate things. The study went on to say that while men and women both lie equally, men tend to lie to make themselves look better while women often lie to make others feel better.

Now, I am not attempting to bash Lance Armstrong or anyone else who has had to endure being judged by the public. No, I would like to address instead what leads one to cheat, deceive and lie? 

The word “lie” is defined as a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive. Deliberate, when I think of deliberate, I think of something carefully thought out. This leads me to believe that before someone commits the act of lying they have already weighed the option, considered the outcome and deemed the act of lying more acceptable than the consequences of being honest.

I would like for us to take a moment and consider two scriptures:

  • Jeremiah 17:9 says “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
  • Luke 6:45 reads “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
    • So, the scriptures say the heart is deceitful, misleading
    • Yet, the mouth speaks what the heart is full of

Why did I choose these two scriptures: I was listening to a journalist speak about the interview Oprah Winfrey conducted with Lance Armstrong; specifically, he was commenting on the point in the interview when Oprah asked Lance Armstrong if he felt like he cheated and Lance’s response was, NO! No, although he clearly and consciously went against the guidelines set by his sport he felt that he had not cheated. However, in his response, Lance Armstrong went on to say that he believes he would not have won those consecutive races had it not been for the performance-enhancing drugs. A clear example of a person allowing their heart to deceive them; you see a man who has been so blinded by his desire to succeed and the lure to be the best that he in his subconscious found reasons to tell himself it was OK to take the drugs.

So why do we lie:

1. Acceptance

  • We live in a society that tells us you have to be better, faster, stronger, and smarter than the next person in order to advance in life.
  • We are told almost from birth that we have to go to school, get a good job, move to just the right neighborhood, send our kids to just the right schools, etc.

2 Peter 1:3 tells us that “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”

  • Is God’s will for your life enough?
  • Do you trust that God has already given you everything you need?
  • Is it a godly life that you truly desire or are you pulled by the glitz and glamour of what the world has to offer

2. Fear

  • When pushed against a wall we as humans are designed to fight
  • When our security is threatened we tend to kick into survival mood
  • Often times giving in to the desire to lie our way out of a situation instead of trusting God, owning up to our mistakes and accepting the consequences of our actions.

2 Timothy 1:7 says “For the Spirit God has given us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”

Psalm 56:3-4 says “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”

  • When your back is up against the wall and you feel there is no way out, what is your response?
  • Do you become timid and afraid and turn to lies and deceit to get out of the situation?
  • Do you stand firm on God’s promises, admit your faults and joyfully make amends, driven by the security that God has the final say in the outcome of any situation

3. Desire to Please People

  • Let’s be honest, at some point in our lives we all wanted to be liked.
  • We all wanted to be able to say yeah, I pitched in and helped out in that situation.
  • Then there are times when we just see and need and our desire to help out ways or ability and means

Matthew 5:37 reads “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’”

  • Two very simple words, yet at times two of the hardest words in the English language.
  • How many of you are driven by your desire to help (which is not a bad thing) but in your attempt to help you tend to make promises you cannot fulfill?

So what can you do to avoid falling into deceit:

1. Let your yes be your yes

  • Only commit to things that you can fulfill
  • Do not allow your heart to dictate your abilities

2. Get to know yourself

  • Recognize when you are feeling tense and tempted to lie
  • Learn what makes you fearful

3. Be honest with yourself

  • Recognize and acknowledge when you are exaggerating
  • Stop making excuses as to why it is OK to go against what is right

Lies, deceit, deceptions, untruths, they hurt. They hurt those you love, those you encounter along the way and they hurt YOU! 

Remember, God is a God of grace and each new day provides us with the opportunity to begin again. Choose God and may the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life!!!

To learn more about Dr. Crystal and the services she provides, visit www.drcrystal.weebly.com.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Kea January 23, 2013 at 04:49 PM
I will be following your blog from now on!! Love it!

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