Being true in a world of lies
While everyone else is wearing masks, Christians need to show their real faces.
Why do we lie? Well, here’s a few reasons you might have thought of:
- To escape from punishment. For example: you might tell your mom that you spent your allowance on a school project (even though you didn't) because, if she found out you spent it on something else, you’ll hear a decade-long speech, or worse, you’ll get grounded.
- To hide something. Through lying, we try and keep our secrets safe. This might be because we're afraid, or because we don't want people to know our real motives. Like the person who pretends to love another, but is simply using them for their own means.
- To protect someone important to us. We might use the term “white lies” for these kind of lies. We simply prevent someone from seeing the truth because the truth will cause him/her pain, or, we lie to others so that the person we treasure won’t be punished or subjected to pain.
Lies, then, are often used to cover up harsh realities, to make things easier, to “protect” others ... in the end, we're trying to keep everything easy and smooth.
What's underneath our lies?
Lies are like masks we wear to conceal the inside, and we all do it! That means you're not just a lone liar. You are also a victim of deception, fooled by other people's lies as well.
Yet, we don’t want to be deceived...
- Nobody wants the child they trust to deceive them and waste their money.
- Nobody wants to be told they are loved, only to find out they are being used.
- Nobody that you treasure will want you to lie for their sake, because true friends will be open and honest with each other.
Yes, lies might make life easy for you, but in the end, they only cause pain to the people around us or to ourselves.
Removing the mask
What a distorted world to live in, where we lie to others and they lie to us. But what can we do about it?
To begin with, we can take our own mask off for a moment.
Be real. Stop deceiving yourself and others. Lies will make you feel good for a moment or so, but, they will eventually become a heavy burden.
- Face the truth, no matter how hard it is. Admitting the truth might lead to punishment, but, lies will cause us more pain in the long term. From the example given above, your mother will certainly punish you if you told her that you weren’t using your money for the right purpose, but you’ll gain her trust for telling the truth.
- Stop hiding things or lying for your own gain. You’ll earn respect from yourself, and also from others.
- Step out from behind the mask. By lying, you are hiding your real self from others. Someday, when you’ll need your real self, you might not be able to find it anymore, since you hid it behind all those masks.
- Don’t live through lies. They feel freeing at the time, but in reality they trap us little by little, until our own identity becomes a lie itself.
- Be honest with others. If you truly care for a person, you’ll be honest with them—even when you need to tell them a hard truth.
Most importantly, follow God, the very basis of truth. After all, he’s the only one that can change our corrupted hearts to something pleasing and real.
“So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body.” Ephesians 4:25 NLT