Deception is a major relational transgression that leads to feelings of betrayals and distrusts between partners. Deception violate relational rules and is considered to be a negative violation of expectations. Most people expect friends, relational partners to be truthful at al times (most of the times). If people expected most conversations to be untruthful, talking and communicating with others would require distraction and misdirected to acquire reliable information.
Unfortunately, we seldom anticipate the real
cost of our deceit when the truth finally is known … and it usually becomes known … at the worst possible time.
However, the most dangerous part of the deception is getting away with it. The lie steals a part of us, depriving those we deceive of seeing the real us and creating a wedge in our relationship that robs each side of genuine intimacy.
“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters”
― Albert Einstein
As the web of deceit grows, it touches more and more aspects of the relationship until the very
foundation of the friendship, marriage, contract, fellowship, or partnership is entangled in the deceit and the very foundation of the relationship is threatened. Even if our deceit is never “outed,” we are damaged and become selfish and abusive people who fear no consequence.
No wonder Paul gave the Christians of Asia Minor these guidelines to root out deceit and bring truth to their lives: love helps to eradicate hate Put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbour, for we are members of one body. … Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs. … Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other,
just as in Christ, God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:25-32)
These inspired words remind us of three complementary principles that are crucial to the world of truth-telling.
Tell the truth. Don’t start the deception. If you have lived in deceit, then find a way to come clean and live in the truth beginning now. God is truth. He does not lie. It is not part of his character and he reminds us that he hates deceptive speech and actions (Proverbs 6:16-19 & Proverbs 12:22).
“If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.”
― Virginia Woolf
The truth you tell needs to benefit the person you are telling. Don’t volunteer truth that hurts unless you have been deliberately deceptive. This is sometimes called “judicious honesty” and the sensitive practice of it is hard. You need prayer and the help of a wise, experienced Christian counselor or close friend to help you know how best to practice this when long-term deception has been involved and you are trying to decide if, how, when, and where to share your deception. And be careful here that “judicious truth” doesn’t sink back into “hedging the truth” to protect yourself and your reputation. Finding the balance between blowing apart someone’s life with “the truth” and hedging the truth to protect ourselves is not easy.
When someone confesses to us about their deception, no matter how agonizing, we must forgive just like you have been forgiven by God. This may not be easy, but is crucial. Forgiveness is as much commanded as telling the truth. Jesus’ warnings (Matthew 6:12-15; Matthew 18:21-35) remind us how important the principle of forgiveness is! Again, in times when a long-term deceit is revealed to us, a close Christian friend or experienced counsellor may be needed to help us proceed down this road redemptively when the crushing weight of a long-
term deception is revealed.
God wants his people to be Kingdom people — folks who live his character and work to redeem what is broken and foul in our world. Who we truly are is often revealed in how we deal with deceiving others and dealing with those who have deceived us. Let’s commit to be Kingdom people. It would also definitely help in our daily businesses. It pays.
…helping you become.