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Lying

 

Rev. Rob Ferguson, MATS

 

Lying, people claim to not do it. Are they lying about not lying? Those who lie even get mad when called a liar or confronted with the truth. Here is a simple fact, the Bible teaches us that we are not to lie (Col 3:9; Jas 1:26; Rev 22:25). We are even told to embrace the truth (Jn 1:17; Eph 4:15; Phil 4:8). Yes, always be truthful but with love and tact. Do not use the truth to destroy people, but to lift them up.

 

Why do people lie?

 

One reason people lie is to get attention. They want to look bigger in people’s eyes. Maybe they feel insignificant in their own eyes, they want to fit in, they want attention, etc. Whatever the reason the big one is they want attention. They feel small, unseen, left out, the feelings are numerous. Here is a thought. What if when we talk to other people rather than talk about ourselves, we talk about the other person and build them up with truth. Make them feel special, seen, understood, and loved. Would that end the lying? No, probably not; but it is moving in the right direction for them.

 

A second reason people lie is to cover up failure. This can be actual failure or perceived failure. Actual failure is humiliating to most people. They try and try but just cannot seem to get something done. They walk away with feelings and thoughts of inadequacy. Often, they are their own worst critic and demean themselves long before anyone else does. When they think someone else asks them about what they were doing, they tell a lie to cover up their failure. Perceived failure is when they see themselves as a failure. An example of this would be someone thinking they are a failure in life. This can come from many sources such as abuse, what they think they should be, or low self-worth/esteem. They do not measure up to their idea of success, so they lie to others so no one else looks down on them and agrees with them. They might tell someone they have a job they really don’t have, did things they never did, and the list goes on. How about this. How about we love people just the way they are. Not worry about what the alphabet soup in front of their name or behind their name is. Love them because they are a creation of God who loves them so very much, he sent Jesus to die for them, even in their sin (just like everyone else). Will this end the lying? No, once again probably not; but is starting down the right road.

 

The third reason people lie is to get out of trouble. Trouble may consist of many things in life, being expelled, sent to the office, being fired, fined, or incarcerated. This list continues depending on why one is in trouble and their age group. People do not want to be responsible for their actions for some reason. Here is the rub, we as Christians know we are to love them and to forgive. However, forgiveness and love does not mean one is free from the consequences of their actions. Do we as Christians need to rejoice when someone “gets what is coming to them” or weep because their fallen nature has brought them to such a place. It is hard to love someone who does you wrong, but possible. Will loving and forgiving change their lying? Nope, but it is the right compass bearing.

 

The fourth and final reason people lie is to cover for someone else. They feel held hostage by reputation, physical violence, culture, etc. They must lie so that a person does not get in trouble; they feel obligated. In the court room this is called perjury and sometimes becomes conspiracy. Both are punishable by fines and jail time. From the lowest level when a child covers for a friend all the way up to the court room are held in a bad place. Lie and sin or tell the truth and be injured. What can be done about this? Remove the element of fear. Make ways for people to get out of such situations. Will this stop people from lying? This is a hard no! But this is the way to go.

 

What can we do?

Let’s sum this up. There are four major reasons why people lie. Most situations can be helped if we treat people as we would want to be treated. But what stops the lying? There is only one thing. Being born again and having a close relationship with Jesus. Only a changed nature will fix it.

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