Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. Ephesians 4:25
It has been said that the church would be a great place if it weren’t for the people. I smile when I write that because of how true and how silly that statement is at the same time.
Being members of one another means we are in a relationship; we are joined with each other and to each other through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:12
For the body is not one member, but many. 1 Corinthians 12:14
When deception occurs in our church relationships it is hurtful and fractures the fellowship we have with that person until confession and repentance takes place. We may tend to trust that person less with important and personal issues, because they have not shown themselves to be worthy of our confidence and trust. Distance grows between the two people and very often despite everyone’s best efforts, the friendship is never the same again.
When our children were growing up, we explained to them that they each started out with a full account in our Bank of Trust. When their words were proved to be true they made a deposit that increased our faith and confidence in their integrity. When they were found to be dishonest or not reliable they made a withdrawal from their trust account with us. Over time, they were always given opportunity to regain the trust they lost. This was a good system for us and it worked well.
When a member of your immediate family lies to you, the schism that results can be devastating.
What cannot be denied is that some people are just very good liars and are able to deceive for extended periods of time. This brings great sorrow into the relationship and eliminates all trust that has been placed in that person. In such a case, one never knows if truth or lie is being spoken and every word becomes suspect.
The character of the individual is also in question at this point. Who is such a person who can tell you they care for you, or love you but will lie right to your face? Can anything they say be believed? Lying creates an unhappy merry-go-round in a relationship, placing one person in the role of a detective who must check and verify everything they are told. The Liar adds layer upon layer of deception because sin hates exposure and if one shred of truth comes out, their whole story unravels and they are exposed.
The resulting heartache and pain can be unimaginable as the truth comes out and you learn that your loved one is not at all who you thought they were or who they claimed to be. This is the devastation of deception. Lying destroys relationships.
Deception comes in several forms, and does not have to be bald-faced lies. Partial truths, half truths, omission of details, and vague responses, are all ways of deceiving someone. Embellishing a story, exaggerating details to make ourselves look good or better are also methods of lying.
Sometimes a person will say they lied because to tell the truth would be hurtful to someone they love. Motives are questionable in this case because you have to wonder who they really trying to protect? Can you trust the stated motive of a liar?
This is why Jesus said, “But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or’No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil. (Matthew 5:37). Any attempt to shade the truth, skirt the truth, embellish the facts or to speak anything less than “truth” is ungodly and must be repented of. A lifestyle of deception calls into serious question the validity of the salvation testimony of a person.
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