It was Tad Williams who said, “We tell lies when we are afraid… afraid of what we don’t know, afraid of what others will think, afraid of what will be found out about us. But every time we tell a lie, the thing that we fear grows stronger.” People can be so afraid of what might happen if they told the truth. Maybe they have done something wrong and are afraid of the consequences of their actions, so they lie to cover up what they did. As is often said about political scandals: It’s not the crime that gets you in trouble, nearly as much as the cover-up.
Lies are typically motivated by a desire to get other people to either do something or not do something, or to make a decision in the favor of the person doing the lying. Someone might lie to get something they desire such as sex, money, status, power, love, etc.“I realized quickly lustful people know how to get what they want, even if it means lying to you about how they feel.” Probably the word love is used in more lies than any other. How often a guy will say to a girl (or vice versa), “I love you”, simply to get the other person emotionally stirred-up, so they can be more easily manipulated.
Many times, a person will lie because of pride. They use it for nothing more than a tool to create a favorable image of themselves. This leads to exaggeration, which is a form of lying. Often people will create fascinating, yet completely false, stories to improve their image.
Bottom line: We deceive other people because we think it serves our purposes in some way. And it’s easy!
What’s the Big Deal About Lying?
It becomes an addiction.
When you get away with a lie it often drives you to continue your deceptions, and in the process, we ruin relationships, hurt others, lose our integrity, and lose our peace. Truth becomes a feared enemy of the liar. It’s a sick and tragic cycle that doesn’t ever have a happy ending.
Lying may seem simple and harmless at first, but just like any addiction, you’ll soon find yourself trapped and entangled more than you could have ever imagined.
Liars don’t have peace.
Lying is extremely stressful. It causes you to be constantly looking over your shoulder and wondering who might be finding you out. You’re always running through the lies you’ve told in your head, trying to keep track of what you’ve told to which person, and what’s the next lie you need to tell. When you’re honest, you don’t have those worries or the negative consequences of your lies.
“I can say that not lying is a very relaxing way of life.” The fact that you don’t have to worry about remembering old lies or getting in trouble later on when the truth comes out (because it always does) puts a lot more relief in your life. Even when it’s hard, telling the truth always has a better outcome than a bunch of lies.
Tell someone when you lie.
Admitting a lie can make a world of difference, and while it might hurt your pride, it’s far better than being a liar. Even better, confess to the person you lied to and seek their forgiveness. This is humbling, but it will cause you to stop and think before you tell another lie. Someone once said Confession is good for the soul. And it is also good at helping us break bad habits.
It would also be wise to confess your lying before God. After all, He’s heard every lie you’ve ever told. And when you confess, you can also ask God to help you break the habit. The Bible promises God will always show us a way out:
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
God actually has a lot to say about lying in the Bible. Check out these Verses of Hope for Lying.
Be realistic about what you promise to others.
Deliberately broken promises are lies that lead to broken hearts. If you promise to do something and never intend to follow through, that is a lie. Additionally, many lies begin as a way to cover up the fact we can’t possibly do everything we promised we were going to do. Be honest about what you’re capable of doing, admitting to yourself and others your limitations, and you won’t feel a need to lie.
Talk to others about their expectations of you.
If you find yourself lying to cover up how you have fallen short of others expectations of you have a conversation with your parents, friends, or teachers in order to come to an agreement about what is reasonable for them to expect. Don’t sell yourself short. You may not be expecting enough of yourself, but an open discussion to get everyone on the same page is important.
Practice telling the truth.
When you start to feel the urge to lie, stop and think for a moment. Think about what the other person would feel about you if they knew you were lying. Think about how you would feel if people lied to you all the time. And then, as painful as it may seem, tell the truth. The more we tell others the truth, the easier it is to continue to do it. Lying is a bad habit. Telling the truth is a good habit. Work on breaking your bad habit by replacing it with a good one. “It spreads like wildfire when someone is caught lying. Then when the person is actually telling the truth, no one will believe them because they have told so many lies. For the sake of your family, friends, and loved ones, always tell the truth even if you are afraid of the outcome!”
Commit to a life of honesty, at all costs.Commit to a life of honesty, at all costs.
Telling the truth might be horribly uncomfortable for you, but you’re starting to walk down a path of honesty and integrity, turning yourself into the person you desire to be. If you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t lie and make something up. Say, “I don’t know.” The freedom of the truth will be liberating.
Like any Addiction – It’s Not Easy to Stop Lying…But Worth It.
Let’s be honest…it is going to be very difficult to stop lying. “I have learned that when you start lying it is hard to stop. It takes a lot of hard work and determination to get over a habit that has been a big part of your life.”
However, as you wake up to the reality of what you’re saying and doing and put a stop to the lies you are telling, you will soon reap the benefits of living a peaceful life. I promise, if you put forth an effort to stop this toxic and destructive habit right now, you’ll be grateful forever.