A well-known psychologist, Paul Ekman has written a number of books that convey his curiosity and passion for understanding human emotion. (View his website here) In his book, Telling Lies, the psychologist explains that the average person lies 3 times every 10 minutes. 3 lies every 10 minutes; that is a lot of lying! These lies that people tell are not always big lies, often they are harmless; however, it still is not the truth. Today I want to share 3 different forms of lying:
1. ‘Harmless’ and ‘time saving’ lies.
As we tell lies about even the smallest things throughout the day, what is the effect that it truly has on us? An example, when someone asks you how your day is and you respond “Great!” but in reality you are having a very rough day, does that affect that person? Some would even say that it saves them from having to hear what you have going on! This is dangerous because it can lead to the next two forms of lying. Much like going to the gym, you start off with small weights before moving on to the big ones; the same is true with lying. Proverbs 12:22 says Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.
2. Telling lies when the truth potentially has no consequences.
When I was younger, I definitely fell under this category. I would lie about things that even if I had told the truth, it wouldn’t have a made a difference. I would lie just to do it. This is a dangerous place to be because you begin to create a life of inconstancy. I can tell you that it is better and easier to just tell the truth in these situations! Proverbs 19:1 says Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.
3. Living a lifestyle of a liar.
This is the most dangerous place to be. Living a lifestyle of being a liar. This is someone who lies for many reasons. Examples: to get ahead in business, to impress people that they are around, or to cheat on a spouse. I can tell you one thing that is true about this type of person, they will be found out. Eventually a person’s lies will catch up to them, no one can run from the truth forever. Proverbs 10:9 says the man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.
You may look at the first one or two forms of lying listed above and think that they aren’t that bad as long as you aren’t in number three. Or even, you may say, “I’m glad to only be in the first one!” The truth is that all forms of lying can lead to the next, if you allow a little bit in your life, more will always find a way in. Proverbs 6:16-20 tells us that there are 6 things the Lord hates, and one of these is a lying tongue.
As followers of Christ, let’s become a people who live at a higher standard and leave no room for lying. Even if it is in the first category, let’s create a lifestyle of faithfulness by finding simple ways to be honest and truthful.