December 2013 Yavoh
The Truth About Lying
One of the most common sins among mankind is lying. It begins in the innocence of childhood. While we understand that lying is common among people, we don’t agree with it being done, especially if we are being lied to. It is part of the failings of mankind. God hates lying and has commanded us not to bear false witness (to lie) as the ninth commandment.
Without wanting to make this article an opinion on our federal government, we have all been witnesses to a profound example of lying and its consequences. In recent weeks, the President of the United States has been tagged with the title of being a liar. Specifically, the President went to the American people and declared that “If you want to keep your health care plan, you can keep it—Period.” This was his key statement to sell the Affordable Care Act to Congress and the American people. By a very narrow margin, Congress approved the Act into law and we now have what many call “Obamacare.”
It has come to light (with the law being implemented) that many people (millions) cannot keep their current health care plan because the law requires changes in everyone’s health care plan. As a result, folks who already have health insurance are losing it and no longer can afford the new plans the federal government offers, nor can they qualify for the government subsidy offered to poor folks in the new law. Even further, documentation now proves that the President knew his statement was false beforehand.
As you can imagine, many Americans are very upset. But, what is upsetting them the most is that the President willfully, with full foreknowledge, lied to the people to get it passed through Congress. He was joined in this deceit by other leaders in Congress who said, “We have to pass the law first, to see what is in it.”
Now, in the aftermath of what is growing into a domestic debacle, many people are suffering from the effects of being lied to and they are not happy. To the President’s defense, some commentators are struggling to find words to describe the President’s actions beyond the harsh title of being a liar. Some are using words like “misrepresentation” or that he “misspoke.” They are trying to suggest he was ignorant of the plan’s details and therefore wasn’t really a liar, but simply mistaken in his description of it. The American people are not buying it and believe he lied about the matter with the intent to deceive.
Let’s step back for a moment and consider this matter more deeply. Let’s try to understand what is the truth about lying.
First, let’s use the common words that are often used instead of the direct word “lying” or “liar.” If you purposely omit things or overstate things, then you could be accused of lying. The key element is the motive (the intent to deceive). Therefore, minimalism or exaggeration are the same behaviors with clear intent. If you go to the level of fabrication, then you are a “bold-faced liar.” If you lie to Congress or in a court, it is called “perjury.” People who play poker lie a lot; it is called “bluffing.” Some people tell “white lies” and “half-truths,” sometimes with the motive to protect someone from harm or discomfort. People who play practical jokes “fib.” But the most common of all lies is the "denial." Someone questions you directly about something and you deny it. Criminals do this regularly.
The Scriptures have much to say about lies, falsehoods, lying, liars, and false witnesses. The real truth about lying is found in the Scriptures.
From Mount Sinai, God gave the commandment “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” We understand that to mean you shall not lie or be deceitful. The latter phrase “against your neighbor” seems to be the modifier for lying. For example, if there is no intent to deceive (the heart is innocent), then a misunderstanding or simple error in judgment is not defined as lying, even though what you said was wrong. God knows the heart of every man in every matter, but we as men must weigh the available evidence to make such a heart determination. In fact, this is the primary activity we do to determine if someone has lied, we try to determine the motive. This is why people, when questioned about the truthfulness of their statements, will attempt to rationalize (qualify, explain, or excuse) their statements. They are trying to prove that they did not have intent to deceive or harm another.
Sometimes, there are more lies in the rationalization than in the actual event. This is called “making excuses.” In politics, it is called the “cover-up.” Sometimes, people will present “evidence” to justify their rationalization. This evidence comes in the form of numerical figures, statistical comparisons, and percentage comparisons. I am reminded of a famous quotation by Benjamin Disraeli. “There are three types of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics.” The more common version of that statement is: “Figures lie and liars figure.” Do you remember when the Health Care bill was being debated? There were so many figures flying around about who had insurance and who didn’t, how this bill would lower insurance rates by an average of so many dollars per family, and even more percentage comparisons. It was a confusing mess. Even the experts on the subject were confused. It was witchcraft (I mean it as exploiting bits of truth mixed with lies to elicit a desired response) at work on a national scale. It started with a lie (an exaggeration of benefit). America was sold a “bill of goods” based on the promise for something better that could never be delivered.
This is how rationalizations turn into even more lies than the original prevarication.
The problem with lying is that lies come back to get you later. Speaking a lie is like dropping a torpedo in the water. That torpedo is intended to harm someone, but occasionally it misses and just keeps swimming around and sometimes it finds its way back to you. When it arrives, you are sunk! The President dropped a whole bunch of torpedoes in the water with the Health Care debate (if you like your health care plan... if you like your doctor... We make this pledge and promise to the American people... Your health care premiums will be much lower...). In recent days, the word “liar” has been spoken directly in the halls of Congress, supported by the cries of the people. You have to remember that in Congress everyone lies but no one calls it that. They call it “politics.” One respected political commentator understands that distinction and has defined the President as “toxic.” No Democrat running for election wants the President anywhere near him now. No one can justify what he has done. They can’t “spin it” (another term for finding a way to avoid the truth and lie) with other words or explanations. There is no way to rationalize what he said.
The President lied to the American people because he chose to use falsehoods in leading the nation. He chose to lie with the full intention to deceive. He wanted the Health Care bill more than he loved truth, and he did what he thought would get it passed. He made a deal with the devil—he got what he wanted, but now he will forever be known as a liar. By the way, his Health Care bill is not working and many are predicting its ultimate demise. He is going to lose on both counts.
Maybe you have heard the word picture by Edgar Allen Poe of how lies become a “web of deceit.” You make enough web so that you get caught in your own web. Mark Twain is credited with a statement about telling the truth and not lies.
“If you tell the truth – you don’t have to remember anything.”
People get caught in their own lies when they forget where the torpedo is or where the web was made.
It is obvious to everyone that one should not lie about anything, but why do people do it? What is the motive behind lying? It has been suggested that there are seven reasons why people lie.
This is understandable. Nations do this frequently. It is a tactic used against enemies. But if a person does this to another person, it means the same. They are treating that person as an enemy, not as a friend. Self-defense is often a righteous cause, and the tactic of lying is employed just as a club, a sword, or an arrow would be used.
To Spare Feelings
This is the motive for “white lies” or “polite lies” for the purpose of trying to keep someone else from discomfort or hurt feelings. For example, “Let’s not tell Mom that this happened. It will just upset her.” Even with this motive, a lie is still a lie.
To Protect Feelings
This is when you lie to yourself. You don’t want to deal with the reality of a situation, so you deny (lie to) yourself and others so your feelings are not hurt or disturbed. Self-denial is not like self-defense. The self-denial usually does more harm than the original issue. If it goes too far a person can literally separate themselves from reality and begin to unravel their entire life.
To Keep a Secret
Nations keep secrets; it is part of the self-defense of a nation. But this motivation is beyond that of a nation and its secrets. At a personal level, keeping secrets involves other people and is generally part of a conspiracy (other people joining in the same lie). Conspiring with another to keep a secret is part and parcel with treachery and the work of witchcraft (exploiting bits of truth mixed with lies to elicit a desired response). Sometimes a person will learn about something accidently or overhear something. Protecting and respecting the privacy of another is not lying. Sharing that information can be the very act of bearing false witness since the information itself is unconfirmed. Sharing this secretly-known information with another is conspiring to keep secret “lies.”
To Protect a Good Image
Sometimes a leader will do something very inappropriate. The leader himself, the leader’s staff, or his aides will often lie about the event or activity in an effort to maintain the integrity and honor of his office or position (his image). You find this happening especially when the President makes a mistake. It is called a political “cover-up.” Usually, the “cover-up” becomes more damaging than the actual event. Former President Nixon can tell you all about that as a result of the “Watergate scandal.”
To Be Liked
This is the motive of those who are not emotionally developed (such as youth) or those who are narcissistic and self-centered. What is most disturbing here is that the lie, if it is about another person, can be vicious and specifically directed to harm another person. By discrediting or devaluing others, the person lying believes he will be liked more. Political campaigns are full of lies with this motivation, especially when they speak of their opponents. Have you ever heard a politician complain that his or her opponent is lying about him to the people? The reason is that most political ads are about the “other guy,” and the other guy is saying that his opponent is lying about him.
You want to know why people find political campaigns so distasteful? People don’t like all of the lying and accusations of lying.
To Manipulate Others
Manipulation is by its very nature spiritual witchcraft (exploiting bits of truth mixed with lies to solicit a desired response) and sits on the edges of pure evil. When the evil of lying becomes powerful enough, even more powerful than the person can control, it is called a personality disorder.
A compulsive liar is defined as a person who is pathological (altered or caused by disease). In effect, he is diseased with lying. Pathogens are elements of diseases. He no longer controls the impulse to lie. The Bible refers to this person as “given over” or “reprobate.” A compulsive or pathological liar is defined as someone who lies out of habit. For them, lying is their normal and reflexive way of responding to questions. They bend the truth about everything. For them they have to modify the truth. The issue to them is not light or dark; it is always gray. Telling the truth is awkward and uncomfortable to them while lying feels right. Many believe that this kind of lying begins in early childhood, due to being placed in an environment where lying was necessary. For the most part, compulsive liars are not trying to manipulate others, but damage and harm to others does happen because they never stop. It is done out of habit and conditioned response.
A sociopath, on the other hand, is a person who lies incessantly to get his way and does so with little concern for others. His motivation is to get his way, no matter what the cost. Sociopaths have little regard and no respect for the feelings of others. Here is the irony though, sociopaths tend to be charming and charismatic, but they use their talents and social skills to manipulate and intentionally harm, with no empathy for, others.
For a moment, put yourself in the shoes of the President. It is clear that he lied, but what motivated him to do it?
Was he doing it out of the reason of self-defense or to spare the feelings of others? Was he trying to protect his feelings? Did he conspire with others to keep a secret or did he have a good image that he was trying to save? Or was it to be liked? There is some evidence that his administration conspired to support the President’s agenda, but there is insufficient evidence to support these motives as the reason why he told lies about the Health Care law. Instead, the evidence all rests on his agenda, he wanted to sell the people something and he was willing to tell lies to get what he wanted.
The tenth commandment of the Ten Commandments is to “not covet,” to not want something to the point that it corrupts your heart. This must happen before you murder, commit adultery, steal, or lie. It appears that the President transgressed the commandment not to covet until he carried out his want to the point of lying. Still further, President Obama has a history of lying about himself (his birth, childhood, and college experience) repeatedly. He has wanted a lot of things. His grandmother wanted her grandson to live in this country and she set up his birth certificate. He wanted a college education and used his foreign student status to gain that. He wanted to be in politics and he lied about his academic resume. He wanted to be the President and did whatever it took to achieve that. He wanted to change the healthcare system for his friends and did whatever it took to get it. He has a history of wanting and lying to get what he wants. Let me repeat the final motivation definition.
A Sociopath is a person who lies incessantly to get his way and does so with little concern for others. A sociopath has a goal or objective in mind (he is trying to get his way). Sociopaths have little regard or no respect for the feelings of others. Here is the irony though, sociopaths tend to be charming and charismatic, but they use their talents and social skills to manipulate and intentionally harm others.
The President has been found out. His ship is sunk. He has been caught in his own web of words. He does not know how to work like most other folks. He only knows how to get what he wants and only knows how to get that by falsehoods. This is the reason why he appears so detached from the other duties of being the President.
I am truly sad for him. He still has three more years to be the President, but this tarnish is greater than the prestige of the presidency. I do not believe that his legacy will be able to survive this; his reputation is perishing before our eyes. He has blown his cover; he has been found out. I am sad for our country. I do not believe our country will be able to survive this; we are changing into a different kind of culture and people as a direct result of his leadership. He has built an atmosphere for others to just “want” things from the government, like welfare, food stamps, free health care, etc. How does lying fit into that? Have you heard how applicants are instructed to lie to gain more benefits?
As believers of God and those who keep the Lord’s Commandments, we must keep a great separation between us and lying. This is a matter of life and death for us. Yeshua taught us that Satan is a liar. In fact, he is called the father of lies. When a person lies, no matter the justification, they are showing themselves to be the children of Satan, not of God. Satan is death; God is life.
But let’s turn now and speak of truth. As I said before, the Scriptures speak the truth about the subject of falsehoods, false witnesses, lies, and lying. The book of Proverbs is an excellent source for this subject.
A worthless person, a wicked man, is the one who walks with a false mouth, Proverbs 6:12
Scripture tells us that the tongue and the mouth are like the rudder of a ship. That small device steers the entire ship. A person’s tongue and speech is what steers his life. Just like the rudder of a ship can send the ship into the rocks, so a tongue can direct your life towards destruction.
There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers. Proverbs 6:16-19
Abominations are very bad. Why does God equate lying with acting haughty, killing innocent people, planning wickedness, pursuing evil, corrupting justice, and causing turmoil for others? Answer: It is sin and the work of Satan. They all lead to spiritual death.
He who speaks truth tells what is right, but a false witness, deceit. Proverbs 12:17
A righteous man hates falsehood, but a wicked man acts disgustingly and shamefully. Proverbs 13:5
A truthful witness saves lives, but he who utters lies is treacherous. Proverbs 14:25
Treachery is considered to be the work of enemies. When you lie to another person, you have proved that you are his enemy and no friend at all. You are a betrayer. Judas was a liar; he was treacherous.
5A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who tells lies will not escape. 9A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who tells lies will perish. Proverbs 19:5, 9
We are witnesses to the truth of these words with our own President and his administration.
Bread obtained by falsehood is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel. Proverbs 20:17
This verse, in my opinion, is one of the best comparisons for lying that has ever been spoken. Have you ever seen a liar caught in a lie try to lie himself out of it? It’s like a guy trying to talk with a mouth full of gravel who needs to spit it out.
If a ruler pays attention to falsehood, all his ministers become wicked. Proverbs 29:12
Without a doubt, President Obama has used falsehood in the leading of this nation. Now consider this: his former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the nation that the Benghazi attack was brought on by a “YouTube” video. That was proved to be completely false. They were covering up something else. His present Secretary of State, John Kerry, is now facing complaints that he is using “doublespeak” and misleading others in negotiating with our allies in the Middle East, including Israel. It should not be a surprise to anyone any longer. The United States is using lies and treachery in dealing with Israel.
Still further, consider the Secretary for Health and Human Services in the Obama Administration leading the rollout of Obamacare. She too has repeatedly lied and refused to speak the truth to the American people. The President’s Press Secretary has parroted every one of these lies. Consider Attorney General Eric Holder and the lies he has told the people and the Congress (the representatives of the people) about “Fast and Furious” or other investigations. He is the top law enforcement officer in the nation where lying is absolutely not tolerated. It is very clear that the President of the United States and his appointed rulers have proven the truth in the words of this proverb all his ministers become wicked.
Do not add to His words lest He reprove you, and you be proved a liar. Proverbs 30:6
This is the lie that religious men tell. Religious men tend to add to what the Lord has said and supplement the commandments with their opinions. Maybe they do it to get more people to believe in God? Maybe they self-justify themselves with an honorable motive? Regardless, no matter the motive, a lie is a lie and there are consequences. As a result, religious leaders end up deceiving themselves and diminish the actual teaching or words of God. They raise expectations that are not fulfilled rather than teach the actual promises of God.
What are we to conclude? It is simple; lying is harmful. It hurts the person who lies and hurts many other people as well. God hates lying and as servants of God we should not tolerate it in any form as well. The Psalmist states this conclusion.
From Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. Psalm 119:104
Do we as believers lie?
Now, let’s shift gears away from evaluating others and our President. Let’s talk about us and our own lies. By the way, we lie too and it is common among the brethren. Do we understand why we lie? Can we step back from ourselves and discern our own weaknesses and motivations that tempt us to lie?
Hold on! If there is anyone thinking at this moment, “I don’t lie,” your motivation for denying that you lie is probably to protect your own feelings. As believers, let us be honest in our own assessment. We are all sinners; we lie. But thank God, our Messiah has graciously paid the price for our sins and we are redeemed by Him. So, let’s be straight with ourselves and speak the truth. There is no reason we should be afraid of the truth. We do lie at varying times for a variety of reasons.
We all have had our moments where we were concerned about defending ourselves, sparing the feelings of others, conspiring with others to keep secrets, and trying to save our “good” image. But let’s consider more deeply our faith in God and how we lie to God Himself.
The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 1 John 2:4
This verse should make every believer shudder in his or her soul. This is the verse that causes me to re-examine my own life. This is the verse that stops me dead in my tracks while making excuses and rationalizing my own behavior. Is my heart intent on trying to obey the Lord and keep His Commandments? Or, am I just putting up a good front to fool those around me? What is the real direction of my heart? The commandment is to love God with all of my heart, soul, and might. Anything short of that says that my heart is intent on something else and I am lying about knowing (my faith in) God.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and will all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.
We need to drop all our fig leaf excuses that we try to cover our nakedness with. We need to dismiss the motives that tempt us to lie and face life honestly. We need to be set free from the entrapments and deceit of lying. This is what Yeshua was talking about when talking about the truth setting us free. When you are walking in the light of the truth, there is no need to use the tactics of darkness to accomplish anything.
How those who believe in Him lie.
So Yeshua was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. John 8:31-32
This conversation is between Yeshua and those who had believed Him. The statement about truth and freedom is for those who say they believe in God, for people like you and me—believers! It is not about others who need to be saved.
But something changes at this moment! These “believers” take issue with Yeshua.
They answered Him, “We are Abraham's descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free?’” John 8:33
Instead of listening to Yeshua, they began to dispute Him. They argued that they were not enslaved nor needed to be freed (they are thinking of physical slavery). They rationalized that they are sons of Abraham (a free man).
Yeshua answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”
Yeshua corrects their response by explaining the slavery to sin is far worse that physical slavery among men. He then explains how slavery is really a temporary thing. Slaves come and go but the son of a house lives there forever. He then proves His point! We are not to be slaves of God who remain for a short time. We are to be sons of God who remain forever in His house. Therefore, the truth has set us free.
Being a member of the House of Abraham is a good thing, but it does not by itself set you free. But being a member of the House of the God of Abraham is where being free and being a son resides. This is why Yeshua corrects their ancestry and speaks to their heart still trapped in sin, specifically, the sin of them lying to themselves and to God.
I know that you are Abraham's descendants; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father. John 8:37-38
Yeshua has clearly shown them that He is following God His Father while they are following another father. They respond by arguing that Abraham is their father.
They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Yeshua said to them, “If you are Abraham's children, do the deeds of Abraham. But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. You are doing the deeds of your father.” John 8:39-41a
Yeshua proves to them that while they may be the physical descendants of Abraham, they are not his spiritual descendants or have his faith in God. You should also note that they are NOT disputing the charge that they are seeking to kill Him. Instead, they are concerned with maintaining their “good” image as sons of Abraham. They are trying to protect their feelings.
For the moment, consider the logic of Yeshua’s argument. These particular Jews said they believed in Him yet they wanted to get rid of Him. He was causing too many problems for them. Their own haughtiness is what was at stake, and this is why their belief in Him is actually a lie.
The author of the Gospel is the same man who wrote, “If you say you know Him (believe in Him) and don’t do what He says, then you are a liar.”
The Jews who “believed in Him” then continued to argue that they too were sons of God.
They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God.” John 8:41b
Their lie is now out in the open!
Yeshua said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me; for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.” John 8:42-47
This conversation started with a testimony of believing in Him, which was a lie. But when Yeshua offered them freedom based on the truth, it was sharply contrasted with the lies that were inside of them. They wanted to “look” like believers but they weren’t believers. They wanted to actually get rid of Him. They wanted Yeshua to like them while they were hating Him. They were doing the work of the devil; they were not acting as believers of God. This conversation is really about lying to God and lying to themselves.
So, how do we overcome the weakness to lie, even to God, and stop lying to ourselves? Consider the motivations that tempt us to lie.
When we feel that we need to defend ourselves, let us trust God to defend us. He is the final and ultimate judge of all things. He has promised to be our vindication. You need not lie to defend yourself. Relax, let Him take care of the matter.
When we try to spare the feelings of others, remember that God loves that other person more than you do. He loves him so much He has died for him. Why do you think that lying to spare them is good for them? How do you know what is really good or bad for them? Disappointments and discouragements in life don’t kill us. God is able to use them for our good. Sometimes it is the best motivation for us to do good. Why are you trying to disturb God’s training program. Think about this. If you find out that someone lied to you to spare your feelings, which is worse - the hurt feelings or the fact that your “friend” lied to you? I have yet to meet the person who is glad he was lied to. How do you think God feels when we lie to Him?
When you feel that you don’t want to be hurt by a situation and then deny the truth to yourself, you only harm yourself further and complicate your life. Psychologists suggest that when parents won’t be honest with themselves, their children know it. Many adolescents see their parents lying to themselves. This produces a strange response. Some youth will choose to behave badly just to get their parents to be shocked into reality. Some parents lose all credibility with their children. This is tragic. Lying to yourself to defend your feelings can produce many unintended consequences. You literally detach yourself from reality. What is needed here is truth, the kind of truth that Yeshua spoke of. Sometimes the truth humbles us, but humility is the first spiritual step toward rebuilding your life and the path of success in life.
Sometimes keeping a secret is acceptable, such as preparation for a gift, professional discretion about company business, discretion between a doctor or professional and his or her client, or for national defense. But, generally, joining with others to keep secrets is one of the most harmful things you can do. It increases stress and compromises your souls should you be confronted to answer about the matter. What’s worse, many people cannot keep a secret, and revealing a secret may be a violation of your agreement. In effect, telling the secret may make you a liar. Remember, you promised to keep the secret.
If you want more peace in your life, don’t keep secrets and don’t agree to keep a secret when asked to do so. If people know that you won’t conspire with others and you don’t keep secrets from them, they will know that you only speak the truth and that you don’t lie.
Every one of us has an reputation and we want it to be a good one. It is important how people see us. However, let’s not let our ego get so big that we need to lie about it. Humility is the key here. Our testimony (our image) is in God. Therefore our walk with God should be in Spirit and in Truth. As a result, we should naturally do good, make good decisions, be wise in our words and deeds. If we do these things, we will never have to protect our image. Besides, good people are willing to forgive the mistakes of another good person. They will treat you the way they want to be treated. Good people know that if you lie to protect your image, you weren’t a good person to begin with.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. for the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. Galatians 5:16-17
We all want to be liked. We want the world to cooperate with us and be willing to work with us. Every day, we get up and update our “résumé of life.” We use this resume in our relationships. We want others to know the good things of what we have done in the past. We advertise our credentials to instill confidence in us, just like a job applicant does with his résumé. But some applicants “fudge” about their experience and credentials. (If you actually do this, you can be terminated the moment the employer learns of it.) It is a truth, people tend to elaborate and exaggerate about themselves. They tell a story to make them seem like the hero instead of the bystander. They say things they didn’t say and they claim credit for things others did. They want to be liked, so they lie.
If you want people to really like and respect you, do what Yeshua said. Serve them, help them, and prefer them. He who is your servant will be greatest among you. The word “greatest” also includes “most liked.”
If you have the ability (the power), the temptation to manipulate another person is very great. A secret advantage over another, playing to their weakness or ignorance is an opportunity to lie and be deceitful. It is witchcraft (exploiting bits of truth mixed with lies to elicit a desired response) if you are taking advantage of another. However, the great deception is the effect it has on you. What you do to them may well be done to you. It is peculiar how things like that work. Every time you participate in this behavior, you invite the devil to walk into the back door of your own soul. He is there for one reason – to steal from you and to destroy you. The cost you pay is usually greater than any advantage you might think you have over another.
The “Tells” of Lying
Here are a few clues used by experts who deal with liars all the time. They say that liars sometimes give themselves away when they are lying. These signals are called “tells.” Poker players study their opponents to understand these “tells,” to know when their opponent is “bluffing” (lying). This does not mean that every time it happens the person is lying. These are only “tells” that could mean the person is being deceptive and lying.
Liars don’t answer Yes or No questions that require “Yes” or “No” answers. They prefer to offer elaborate explanations about their motives, not what actually happened or what they actually did.
Liars will deny something by saying, “I did not!” They overemphasize and tend to be emphatic in their denial. A liar will generally not use the contraction form of the words while a truthful person will use the contraction, “I didn’t.” Those who speak the truth don’t need to be emphatic in telling the truth.
Liars use too many words to explain themselves. They rationalize with many words. They will drag out a bunch of rope (words) to hang themselves with, so to speak. Proverbs 10:19 says that in a multitude of words there is no lack of sin (lying). A wise person chooses his words well and makes them few. A truthful person will just simply say it. Some of us “long-winded” folks would do well to consider the wisdom of this Proverb.
Liars send the signal of concealment in their body language. Body language is a non-verbal reflection of a person’s deeper thinking. It can range from a closed stance (a defensive posture) instead of an open stance (accepting and non-defensive) to leaning too far forward (over emphasis) during their statement of denial.
Liars smile with their mouths but not with their eyes. They can’t make their entire face smile while lying.
Liars physically react to lying. Their mouths dry up (less saliva). In some primitive cultures they place a heated rock on the tongue of the suspected liar. If he is burned, he is liar; if he is not, he spoke the truth. (This is a test to make saliva for your tongue.) When a person lies, his breathing rate and blood pressure increases, indicative of physical stress. This is what a lie detector actually measures.
Liars lie with words. Listen to their words, don’t be distracted by what you see. However, illusionists use your words (thoughts) to lie to you. An illusionist is not considered a liar; he is called an “entertainer.”
Liars like to distance themselves from the actual lie and point to others to deflect attention. They often make the first accusation and spread the blame around.
Liars many times have to rehearse their lie before saying it. They will make several introductory statements before speaking the lie.
Liars change their story. If the first didn’t work, they will shop around for another story and yet, they don’t seem to think that changing their story is just another lie.
Liars sometimes seem to have superhuman powers of remembering specific facts while expressing general ignorance of commonly known things. The contrast in remembrance is there to make the lie more believable.
Liars want to change the subject or topic if it is about what they lied about.
Liars often become defensive and argumentative about a subject they have lied about. They are reacting to the stress of lying.
Liars won’t be helpful when you are trying to find the truth of the matter. They won’t offer to help you to find the truth.
Confronting a person who has lied.
So, what is the proper way to confront a person you believe has lied to you? Do not confront them directly by calling them a liar! You must make a way for them to accept the truth and be free from the lie. A much more gentle way is to simply say, “I am having a difficult time believing what you have said. Isn’t there something more that you would like to tell me?” Many times they want to be free as well and they will open up to you. At that point, be gracious and forgiving. Help them to come clean. This process includes an honest discussion about what they “wanted” (coveted) and what motivated them to use the tactic of lying to get it. But let me add this note. If you are dealing with a person who is a sociopath, you must use a completely different approach. You are dealing with a soul that is corrupted.
I am reminded of a childhood story/riddle about truth and lying. It told of a tale of two cities: one city was for liars and the other city was for those who told the truth. A man was on a journey to the City of Truth and came to a fork in the road. One road went to the City of Truth. The people of that city only spoke the truth. The other road led to the City of Lies. The people of that city only spoke lies. But the traveling man didn’t know which road led where. He found another man near the fork, but he wasn’t sure which city he lived in. So, what question did he ask to know the path to the City of Truth?
The answer to the riddle is solved with this question, “Which way to your home?” The liar will point away from his city (the City of Lies) toward the City of Truth. The truthful person will point to the City of Truth. Both will point in the same direction. The key to uncovering a lie and helping others to come away from the lie is to ask good questions and find out where they are living, so to speak—what are their desires and what are their wants.
Lying is a heart decision. Like the riddle, when you deal with where they live (what is in their heart), they will show you where the truth is. Some people say that you should give liars another chance, even chance after chance. I disagree. Compulsive liars cannot stop lying (it is like a disease). The Great Physician must help them. I counsel others to not trust them, only trust God. That is why I say “Trust God and work with men; don’t trust men and then try to work of God.” Trusting men will only lead to disappointment because men are tempted to lie all the time. God has never lied to me or anyone else; therefore, He is worthy of all of our trust, not just some of it.
I believe Yeshua the Messiah did this same thing even working with His disciples.
Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, observing His signs which He was doing. But Yeshua, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man. John 2:23-25
Yeshua knows us and He knows how our hearts work. He knows we are tempted to lie, even about believing in Him.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding . In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverb 3:5-6
I am glad that God does not trust me; I would much rather have Him forgive me and save me from myself than to trust me. So, I pray “Help me, O Lord, to speak the truth and keep my mouth shut the rest of the time.”