Honestly written

Why do we lie?

I can’t make it to the event, I have something urgent that came up”. In reality, you spend the night on your couch, in your pajamas. “This tastes delicious!” You say those words to the chef as the food just barely makes it down your throat. “No, that outfit does not make you look fat.” Silently thinking in your head, it does.

We have all participated in scenarios like these at least once in our lives. We have told a small, harmless, white lie that probably did not affect our lives any longer than the moment we invented it. However, no matter how little the lie is, the Bible instructs us that lying is a sin. So, why do people even lie in the first place if God forbids it and how can people lie less?talking-01

 

It is indisputably clear that the bible objects to lying. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16) is one of many examples of the bible instructing people not lie. Christians and Jews, both condemn the act of lying. So, why do people still do it? According to some, humanity is at a constant and painstaking struggle of wanting to succeed while also wanting to think of themselves as good people. The problem is, these two goals conflict. For example, do I lie to a future employer about a skill I have, hoping to score the job? Or, do I present myself as I truly am, with good intentions and optimism about the potential position? The conflict does not arise from a cost/benefit analysis. Rather, it comes from the struggle between success and morality. God, clearly picks morality.bible-01

How to Stop Lying?

People have many ways of rationalizing small lies. The trick they think, is to keep the balance between being a good person and succeeding, in favor of being a good person. So, when it comes to adding a few more personal skills to a resume, many rationalize that choice by focusing on the kind and honest act they participated in earlier in the day. However, God explicitly instructs people not to lie. Lying is a sin in many religions besides just Christianity. So, how do we stop?

The most important step to end lying is easier than you would expect. Reiterate, time and time again, that the person lying, is a good person. Having positive reinforcement will make the person more likely to focus on his or her potential to be an even better person rather than risk his or her integrity while lying. While there are other more concrete steps to take to decrease lying such as oaths, pledges or contracts, the most important thing people can do is focus on the need for honesty and morality, just as God instructs.

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