Nov 01, 2011 Letters
I believe that if there is anything which can be regarded as the truth, it is the fact that every adult human being has lied more than once before. I would not hesitate to admit that while it is not a way of life for me, I have lied several times before.
As a child, I lied to my friends, my siblings, my parents, as well as my class and Sunday School teachers As an adult I lied to women, my previous employers, the police, my church colleagues and even my pastor. I have lied to my wife and children. The only one who I have never lied to is God, because I can’t.
The truth about all the lies which I have ever told is that I have almost always been exposed.
I believe that lying is an art which I have been unable to master. Unlike some people who have perfected the art, many times I was caught and ended up confessing and repenting. Yet, I feel like telling a lie today, but I don’t know what type of lie to tell.
Earlier in life, I was told that there are three types of lies – Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics. However, I soon found out that that classification in itself was a lie. Indeed, there is a wide variety of lies.
For example, there is the big lie, the white lie, the emergency lie, the noble lie, and the barefaced lie to name a few. Today I must make a choice and decide on the type of lie to tell. But what is a lie?
The New King James Version Study Bible dictionary, defines a lie as “Any statement or act designed to deceive another person”. Surely, from this definition it is obvious that deception is the main purpose of a lie. Having defined a lie, the obvious question is ‘why do people lie?’
Dr. Gail Saltz, who in 2004 was a Psychiatrist at the New York Presbyterian Hospital, surmised that people lie for a variety of reasons. They lie to protect or hide their guilt. Lies are told for all sorts of financial gains and perks. We lie to secure job promotions, and scholarships, etc. It is rather ironic that we lie to hide or suppress the truth.
While all lies are dangerous, in my opinion, the worst lie of all is the one which is designed to injure the character and/or reputation of the victim.
The wound of a physical injury heals with time, but the scars inflicted by a lie, may never disappear. A lie can be so effective that its consequences may last for a lifetime and can even lead to death. Still I feel like telling a lie today.
Just as there is a wide variety of lies, there are many types of Liars. For example, there is the simple liar, the complex liar, the professional liar, the impulsive liar and the barefaced liar. It is the last type which I dread the most.
Within our system of justice administration, murder is regarded as the number one or capital offence, but as far as I am concerned, a liar is far more dangerous than a murderer.
Many innocent persons were made to endure untold sufferings because of lies. Many innocent people have swung from the gallows because of lies. And many divorces and brands of domestic abuses and violence have their genesis in lies.
Let us not forget that in the Holy Bible, the first sin is rooted in a lie, the consequences of which mankind is still reeling today. It is from this same Bible that I have learnt that the instruments used for lying are the heart, the tongue and the lips which can be deadly, individually and/or collectively.
Notwithstanding all that I have said thus far, I am still planning to tell a lie today, and based on a sermon I listened to last Sunday, I don’t think that I will be caught and be made to feel ashamed and embarrassed. I have discovered that I can use my cell phone and lie with impunity. I can lie without being caught. With that instrument, I believe that I can become the Rolls Royce of Liars.
I will make appointments with my victims and once their phone number shows up on my phone I will just say hello, hello repeatedly as if a faulty transmission is preventing me from hearing clearly. I know that it may be disgusting, but if and when I come face-to-face with my victim I will again lie by saying that the circuit was overloaded or there was too much noise in the environment.
When I am late for an appointment I will explain to my victim that I am just five minutes away when in fact I am as much as thirty minutes away. How do I explain not arriving in five minutes’ time? I will lie that I was delayed by a traffic jam, a police road block, or that the police caught me speaking on the cell phone and I was detained.
It is not likely that the truth can be easily discovered when using the cell phone to lie. In fact, I believe that it is the greatest instrument for lying, but the nature of lies is such that once the first one is told, several generations of lies are likely to follow.The first lie generates another and another and another, until there is no end.
The schemes and avenues available to me for lying undetected with the cell phone can make me the most untrustworthy person and so I have changed my mind from wanting to tell a lie today. In fact, I don’t think that I want to ever tell a lie again.
Apart from the fact that the truth cannot be wished away or suppressed by a lie, I now believe that I have nothing to gain by being deceptive. Worst still, it is written in the book of Proverbs, verse 19 that “The lip of truth shall be established forever: but the lying tongue is but for a moment”.
This scripture scares me very much and when I read in verse 22 that “Lying lips are abomination to the Lord:” I am committed not to tell a lie today, but to speak the truth and speak it ever.
With or without the cell phone, truthfulness should be valuable to us all. I am afraid that because thousands of children have access to cell phones these days, and the cell phone is an instrument for lying, we may be developing a generation of liars much to our own detriment.
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