George Washington is quoted as saying when asked by his father if he cut down the cherry tree “I cannot tell a lie …I did cut it with my hatchet”. My guess is that he could – – and likely did lie at times in his life. General Washington undoubtedly lied to confound the enemy in order to protect the lives of his own troops.
In researching the topic of “LYING”, I found extensive information that suggests there are many reasons that people lie. Not to poo-poo these brilliant psychiatrists and psychologists who likely put in hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars on their studies – – but in my very humble opinion, people lie because they WANT THEIR CAKE & WANT TO EAT IT TOO. Simple as that! The “why” a person lies is truly unimportant.
People learn to lie at a very young age, so it is a very “human” flaw. “Little Billy, did you eat the last cookie?” “No mommy, I didn’t eat the last cookie” Billy quietly answers with crumbs all over his mouth. “How are you feeling today?” your neighbor asks you. “Fine, thank you” you reply. In truth, people don’t “really” want to hear that you “aren’t fine”, and you certainly don’t have the energy – – or the time – – to stand and listen to someone else tell you all of their woes either! So you (we) lie. Keep it moving!
The lies that I mention above are fairly harmless. Children will hopefully outgrow the habit of lying once they realize that they are safe to tell the truth and that they aren’t going to be shipped off to Siberia by their parents. But, what happens if they DON’T grow out of it? Sadly, many don’t. Many turn into compulsive pathological liars who tell lies even when they don’t have to. It becomes a habit, and just like any other habit is tough to break. Anyone who has been around a person like this likely just sits scratching their heads as to why they would feel the need to lie about stupid little things. Why didn’t they just tell the truth? Sadly, it’s likely we will never know. We can either accept this flaw in our partner, family member, co-worker, etc. or we can call them out on it. This may, or may not change things, but it’s up to you as to on whether you have the strength to continue this “dance” with the liar in your life.
You see, liars don’t just hurt others, they hurt themselves as well. Lies can (and will) destroy important relationships in your life making a liar’s life a living hell. How exhausting it must be to keep all of their lies straight? Further, rebuilding trust sometimes is virtually impossible once the damage has been done. Lies create mistrust, breakdown communication, and can cause loss of intimacy. Lies can have even more dire consequences as well, such as broken relationships, mental disorders, jail time, and in extreme circumstances lies can cause death to you or the person(s) to whom you have lied.
Bible Psalm 101:7 states “No one who practices deceit shall dwell in my house, no one who utters lies shall come before my eyes.” Now, if you’re a God fearing person (which I am) and desire to spend eternity with our Lord, it is clear that you must start behaving in a manner that is pleasing to God. When you do this, then any relationships you have here on earth will naturally improve.
The first step in modifying your behavior is to admit that you have a problem. Just as alcoholics are encouraged to do in AA meetings, you should say out loud to at least one person “I am a habitual liar.”
The second step is to stop rationalizing and blaming others for your lies. You know right from wrong. There simply is no excuse to behave like a child one day longer.
Finally, pray about it. Fall down on your knees and ask God to take away your desire to disappoint Him and the people you “claim to love”. I don’t suggest that this will be an easy task, but take it one day at a time – – one lie at a time and you just might not choke on that cake after all.