Lying might seem like a necessary social skill. But not when it runs amuck among or inside us. When that happens, lying can careen out of control as it infects more and more of our soul. And what’s “The Big Lie?” That lying accomplishes more than it harms.
Lying damages liars. One deception eventually requires a supporting cast of falsehoods that becomes too complex. Liars begin to believe their own fabrications, which deprive them of accurate perceptions about their social and emotional well-being. About their sinfulness. Fear of exposure can override other feelings. Lying may indicate a psychopathic personality—harming others with no regard for their well-being. Perpetual liars are shunned, disliked and disempowered.
I once knew someone whose dishonesty consisted of exaggerated fabrications about her life, her relationships, her successes and her well-being. It took awhile for me to see the inconsistencies in those narratives, but I never called her on her stories. Perhaps I should have. She died awhile ago, but I still wonder whether I could have helped her.
I’ve also wondered whether that variety of untruthfulness spread into the rest of her life, whether it grew into a relational house-of-cards she couldn’t maintain. Did others eventually challenge her? Did those around her find it hard to trust her leadership? Did they finally sever their relationships with her, leaving her lonely and unfulfilled at the time of her death?
These questions are important for me to answer personally. I don’t want lying—necessary social skill or not—to run bonkers in my life! I don’t want dishonesty to spread into my entire being, or to characterize me totally. So I will follow the example and advice of the truth-tellers around me, and thank them for their sturdy, insistent honesty.
I don’t want to empower The Big Lie!
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