Lies are like weeds. They start out small, and then grow until they're out of control. And like weeds, they keep popping up again and again. Once they take root, they grab a firm hold, and won't let go.
In James 3:8 the Bible says, "But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison." The tongue can be the most heinous weapon we possess, so make sure to use it wisely and speak your words cautiously. Ideally, we shouldn't fill our lives with deceit, but endeavor to live lives devoid of dishonesty. Our goal should be living open, honest lives filled with trust and love. But being human -- and possessing the foibles that humans have -- it's sometimes difficult to avoid lying.
White lies and little omissions here and there are still lies. The option to lie should not be part of your life -- the truth should always come first. No matter how imperfect we are, we should still try to be good, honorable people -- and doing so includes not lying. Sometimes the truth is very difficult to tell, but God and fill you with the courage to do so.
Lying has been extensively researched too. Bella DePaulo, PhD determined that in one out of five of their daily interactions, people lie. In "Liespotting," author Pamela Meyer attests that we're lied to from 10 to 200 times a day. Just how dishonest is the world which we've created surrounding ourselves? How frequently do we tell lies? Additionally, in what ways do we intimidate others through words and actions that might provoke them to embellish the truth?
Surprisingly, lying is considered to be a sign of intelligence, because it takes cognitive skill to recognize reality, and then present an alternative to that reality. In a study published by the "Journal of Basic and Applied Psychology ," researchers determined that during a 10-minute videotaped conversation, 60 percent of the subjects lied at least once. Ironically, all of the study's subjects believed they'd been completely truthful during the conversation.
As humans, not only are we good at lying to others, but we can make ourselves believe something is true when it's not. We do this because we're motivated by self-esteem and self-preservation. When we lie, we're attempting to present the best version of ourselves. So we lie about our achievements or abilities so that others will have more respect for us, or to disguise mistakes so that others don't lose that respect. We also lie about mistakes so we don't feel their repercussions. And at times, we also do it to spare someone's feelings. Lying works, and it has its share of benefits.
People often only reveal pieces of the truth that they assume others want to hear. They may also lie by omission, or tell little white lies that shed a very different light upon reality. These lies can not only hurt relationships -- they can ruin them. Even lies told with the goal of protecting others can make you feel ashamed of yourself because you're not being authentic.
Often, lying is done to control a response. Do you only tell one side of a story? Do you omit small but vital details about something? These small, subtle changes in a story may influence the listener's attitude and their reply. Are you just manipulating this person so that they say what you want to hear? You won't get a very authentic response if you've maneuvered their answer.
Lying is also done by omission. Everyone has had moments of leaving out less-than-pleasing details. Sometimes this is done out of sensitivity, or to spare someone's feelings, but sometimes those details are important. Whether you have nothing to hide, or there's something real you don't want them to know about, omitting noteworthy details will make you feel devious, and create fertile ground for additional dishonesty.
Exaggeration is another lying tactic. When people are insecure about themselves, they may feel that it's necessary to cast a particular image of themselves stemming from the need for the approval of others.
I've always loved rock music -- its power, its passion, its energy. I love spirituality, and its practical applications, for the same reasons -- its profound energy, its tremendous power, its soul-stirring passion. Rock music can quietly move you with its soft ballads, or catapult you to the heights of euphoria with thunderous melodies. Spirituality possesses these same qualities, and all the nuances in between. I contribute to many metaphysical and self-realization websites, and I edited a renowned book by a distinguished transcendent teacher. I'm grateful that I can use my writing talent to convey messages of spirituality, as well as self-improvement and personal development. Spirituality, with its strong, soundless resonation, is the music that courses through my body, mind and soul.