A liar will not be believed, even when he speaks the truth. Aesop
It is easy to tell a lie, but hard to tell only one lie. Thomas Fuller
Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it. Adolph Hitler
Lying corrupts our society. It is so pervasive we hardly get upset when we hear lies, purposeful exaggerations, or deliberate misleading. Our politicians, the media, business leaders, even some spiritual leaders are examples of those who compromise the truth. There is a mindset that justifies lying if it furthers one’s cause, damages the cause of another; covers up indiscretions or bends the rules. Some believe the “ends justifies the means”. Whatever it takes is okay. Few of us respect our politicians because we do not have confidence in what they say. The more we see prominent people engaging in deceiving and lying, the more we are tempted or feel justified in doing the same.
Lying corrupts integrity, morality and character. The short term gains pale in importance, compared to the damage it does to our inner-being. We compromise ourselves by lying. Everyone wants to be respected, liked and even loved. This begins with self-respecting ourselves. If we are unable to achieve this, our lives will be less than joyful and potentially miserable and unhappy. Our mothers taught us about the evils of lying. We have tried to teach it to our children as well. Without a commitment to truth our society is built on a weak and corrupt foundation.
When someone does something we know to be wrong, it causes us to lose some respect for them. The same thing applies to us, every time we tell a lie; we lose some self-respect for ourselves. This causes us problems with our own sense of self-worth and inner-being. We have to live with ourselves. It is like Siamese twins (the inner us and the outer us), the two cannot be separated. It is a permanent relationship. We can terminate relationships with others, but not with ourselves. Every time we do something wrong, including lying, we make our relationships within more compromised. We have to accommodate, cover up, sacrifice our integrity, rationalize and find ways to continue to live with our inner self. We do not like what is inside. This adversely affects everything about us. It is a form of self-imprisonment. It causes all kinds of problems, neuroses, and even serious psychological maladies. The only way to gain freedom from our self-induced maladies is to rebuild our self-respect from a foundation of integrity and good character. We have to live life based on principles, morality, integrity and telling the truth.
Challenge: Every time we lie or do something wrong, we hurt ourselves. We damage our ability to live in harmony and happiness. What we gain in the short term is more than lost to the damage it does. It is illogical and unintelligent to do harm to yourself, physically and mentally. It could be called a form of insanity. Make a new vow to yourself; hold yourself up to higher standards. Down with lying! Hold yourself accountable to the high principal of the truth.
Wisdom: Every violation of truth is not only a sort of suicide in the liar, but is a stab at the health of human society. Ralph Waldo Emerson
A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who pours out lies will not go free. Proverbs 19:5
Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment. Proverbs 12:19
Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Colossians 3:9-10
Lying may or may not harm the individual that is lied to. People who lie harms themselves. Lying is an indication of character flaws and other weaknesses within. Some such issues are very hard if not impossible to overcome in our own strength. God can and will help us overcome such weakness and flaws. He perfectly knows what our needs are. If we will but ask Him to help us, He will give us what we need. We do need to ask his help.
Prayer: Help me to know the truth and to always tell the truth. Help me to be a good example.