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Lies, Lies, and More Lies

19 Nov

We can say anything we want about anyone or any situation. We can make up stories about our lives, our successes, our families, our history, or anything else we want to. We can tell people we care about them when we don’t, tell others we’ll call them when we have no intention of doing so, or anything else that pops into mind. There is no truth police except our own conscience and if we ignore that and don’t care about ethics or morality, we can create any sort of life we want to by lying. Some people think there are degrees of lying and it’s okay to tell them if they don’t mean much or don’t hurt others. For instance, if we get invited to a party and don’t want to attend, we could say we have another commitment, even if we don’t. Then we don’t have to go to the party, and the host isn’t hurt because we made up a plausible excuse. Some call those “white lies.” But whatever color we call it, it’s still a lie. And once we’re caught in one, which will inevitably happen, we lose the trust of those around us. Nobody can believe a liar. Nobody will even try.

Instead of telling lies outright, we can do it in obscure and ambiguous ways. We could create confusion and misdirection to mask what is really going on. Although we aren’t outright lying to the other party, we are doing things to keep the truth from them. What about when we tell lies to protect others? If we care about someone but know we can’t commit to the serious relationship they want, we could lead them on and hope that eventually they’ll figure things out on their own. That way we don’t have to tell the painful truth, and they’ll be happy at least for a while. We aren’t really lying with words, but we’re deceiving them just the same. Whether we speak them or live them, lies damage our credibility and our self respect. And will eventually damage our relationships with others.

Is it imperative to be honest in all things? Are there exceptions to the rule? We all have to make personal judgment calls in every decision. But telling lies and living dishonestly complicates our lives. We must remember exactly what we’ve said, who we’ve told, and what we’ve done. Since it’s all fiction, we have to keep our stories straight, which can take a lot of energy and planning if we’ve been lying for a while. It’s far easier and simpler in the long run to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Even if we’ve done something embarrassing or hurtful, it’s best to own up to it and face the music. No dance lasts forever, and no matter what we’ve done we will move through it. Determining to be honest in every interaction will free us from guilt and shame, and the difficulty of untangling lies. People will respect our honesty, honor our integrity, and trust us implicitly. And having the trust of others is a great blessing.

Today if you’ve gotten tangled up in a dishonest situation, you can straighten things out by telling the truth. No matter what has happened already, clear the way by being completely honest going forward. Those around you will learn they can trust you and be glad to interact with you. You are worth more than you can imagine. Honor your value by being as honest as possible. Let others believe you, and depend on you, and be the gift you were designed to be.

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