After 23 years as an FBI counterintelligence agent, LaRae Quy can spot a liar. Specially trained in the art of reading individuals and uncovering hidden truths, Quy suggests that you first build rapport and then surprise them. Listen more than you speak and pay close attention to how a person says “no.” A liar may say “no” and look in a different direction or close their eyes. They may say noooooooo stretched over a long period of time or after hesitating.

Eventually, psychologists tell us, a liar isn’t even sure what is true and what isn’t. Megan, a recovered alcoholic, says in the grips of her addiction, she had lied so profoundly and for so long about herself, she actually believed her lies. “I really wasn’t sure what was and wasn’t true about what I was saying about myself,” she recalls. Susan Krauss Whitborne, Ph.D. confirms this: “By telling lie after lie, we eventually can suffer from building a false version of reality that increasingly distances us from our real selves. After repeatedly lying about the same thing, we may even come to believe it is true.” Yes, lying has consequences.

At some point in life, every one of us is the victim of a lie. Whether it’s the head of a giant bank who has knowingly made bad investments with billions of depositors’ dollars…some of them yours or perhaps your teen who insists that the cigarettes or the alcohol in his backpack belong to someone else, or the life-shattering experience of realizing you’ve been betrayed by the one who promised to be true to you, and only you, for life.

The Bible is simple and clear on the subject: “Do not lie to one another,” it says. For God, who designed humans and the framework for human relationships, intended for trust to be the bond, the very atmosphere of relationship. Sin that broke the first relationship between God and man was first predicated on a lie. It cost God a Son to bring restoration. Since then, the lies we’ve told ourselves when we think we can live without God have brought nothing but sorrow throughout all of history.

Because, after a lie is told, forgiveness may be obtained and relationship restored. But sometimes, like a fine cut crystal vase that’s dashed to the ground and shattered into a thousand pieces, human relationships may never be the same.

Jesus said that lies come from Satan. Deceit was always in his playbook. In a conversation with the religious leaders of His day who were hypocrites, Jesus said they were liars, descendants of Satan, who is not only a liar but the father of lies. In the Book of Revelation, John, the Apostle, says liars will be cast into the lake of fire bringing eternal judgment and condemnation (Revelation 21:8).

And, do you recall the story from the New Testament Church: Ananias and Sapphira lied about the sale of a piece of property? God was so incensed that He struck them dead and they were buried. Yes, God takes a very dim view of dishonesty.

“I’m not lying; just stretching the truth! I’m not hurting anyone.” Have you ever thought that? You’re lying when you tell yourself that. “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil” (Matthew 5:37), Jesus taught. You can tell the truth all of the time and enjoy the joy and peace of honest genuine relationship with God and in your relationships with others!

Dishonesty and deceit are habit patterns which are learned, and by the grace of God they can be unlearned. You can tell the truth, and in learning to tell the truth, you will become a different person and experience the life and relationships God has for you.

Resource Reading: Ephesians 4:20-25

Text: Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Colossians 3:9-10

GUIDELINES with Harold Sala – November 20, 2017