Why do we lie?

Brenda Cannon HenleyBy Brenda Cannon Henley
If God tells us something in Scripture, it is important that we read it. If He has something written two or three times, it must be very important. What do you think if He chooses to mention a subject more than 100 times? I would say that God feels it is essential to our well being, getting along with family and friends, and being able to enjoy our days.

The subject of lies or lying is clearly mentioned 100 times in God’s word, and every time, we are warned to lie not, to abstain from untruthfulness, and to seek truth and honesty. And, yet, every single one of us lies or exaggerates truth most likely every day we live.

1 Peter 2:12 warns us to have honest conversations and speak the truth so that others can see our good works and know we love and serve God. People around us need to know they can believe what we say is true.

Genesis 3:4 records an untruth early in Scripture. When Satan is tempting Eve, he lies. He tells her she should eat the fruit and says, “Surely you will not die.” God had said not to eat the fruit of the one tree, and if they did, they would die.

In Proverbs 12:22, we read that the Lord detests lying lips. In Proverbs 13:5? We are shown that righteous people hate falsehoods. In the Book of Zephanah 3:13, we learn that honesty brings peace and that dishonesty or lying brings fear.

One of the most interesting verses I read is John 8:44, where the idea of a native tongue is presented. The devil is a murderer and a liar and those that follow him will speak in their native tongue and speak untruth while a Christian will strive to speak only truth that can be believed.

Acts 5:3 tells us that Satan fills human hearts with lies and the ability to tell them, often with believability and a straight face. And Colossians 3:19 admonishes us to speak the truth to one another. What often happens when we lie? We have to concoct a second, third, and fourth, and more to keep the chain going. It is confusing and mind boggling to keep up with the false narrative spinning, and eventually one gets tripped up in the exercise.

We know that lying is wrong, and yet, we do it more often that we will admit. But, why? You can make your own list of reasons, as I have made mine. I believe we lie or exaggerate to feel important to others or to a situation. We spin a wild tale to prove we are vitally and integrally needed.

I believe many lie to prove that they are interesting. We’d like people to know what we know, what we have done, where we have been, and who we know. Being average is simply not good enough.

Becoming or being involved often is the catalyst for untruths. Egos need to be fed and our place in society must be shored up or strengthened to guarantee continued involvement.

Some lie or bolster their involvement to make sure that others recognize the belief that they are indispensable. “You simply cannot do this without me. It just won’t work.” Truthfully, few are indispensable.

And the last “I” in my outline is people lie because they have a driving force to be thought of as intelligent. I saw this illustrated in real life last night. A woman that had not been involved in the planning, purchasing, or preparing for an event, arrived on the scene and attempted to take over the decorating giving orders right and left and changing things that had been long discussed and chosen by the parties involved. Thank God, the organizers saw what was happening and put things in order.

Being from Texas and writing about rodeos and especially bull riding events, I have seen cattle branding on a too close for comfort basis. When that young calf is branded or tagged, the mark clearly says the animal belongs to the Triple S or other ranch. When a person is branded as a liar, ranch big “L” is very difficult to remove. Let’s mind our tongues and speak truth.

Brenda Cannon Henley can be reached at 409 781 8788, or
[email protected]


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