2016, 31-Day Writing Challenge, Writing, Writing Challenge

The Anatomy of Deception

Kimberly N. Alleyne
The Harvest Magazine, Publisher and Editor
Writing Challenge, Day 2: Lies | John 8:44; Luke 8:17; Proverbs 12:22; Proverbs 6:16-19; Proverbs 19:9; Psalm 101:7; John 8:32; Psalm 34:13; John 3:20-25
Essay

 

It is common for golfers to tell a few tales during and after a friendly match. Below-average scores, professional-level handicaps, preferred [ball] lies opposed to actual [ball] lies, and Tigeresque swing distances are commonly exchanged fibs among inexpert golfers.

Little white lies, but prevarications just the same. Lies are simply lies, and white lies–whatever that means–or no better than red lies, purple lies, black lies, especially in God’s eyes. God hates lies; in fact, He “detests lying lips” (Proverbs 12:22). So then why do we do it? Why do we lie? At times, lying comes with ease, almost innately–why is that? How do we become comfortable and intimately familiar with and dependent on lying?

FEAR

My Mom asked me where my progress report was, and I told her I didn’t receive one. In retrospect, that was a pretty dumb lie, but it was the most sophisticated response my sixth-grade mind conjure a the time. I too afraid to show her my six-week progress report because then she’d see that although I’d earned As in five classes, I pulled a C in the sixth–not acceptable. I feared the likely punishment that resulted from sub par grades: no bike, no roller-skates, no friends coming over, no beach, no radio and no television. I couldn’t stand to lose all of those benefits so I lied.

The rouse was short-lived. While I was at softball practice, Mom drove right over to Popp’s Ferry Elementary, got my progress report, saw the five As and one C, talked to the teacher whose class I earned the C in, and made it back in time to watch me–totally unsuspecting and unaware that  she never fell for the lie to start with– finish practice.

I’ve worked with colleagues who seemingly could not tell a truth if their lives depended on it. They keep up dissension and conflict all out of fear–fear of rejection, fear of not being liked, fear of not being viewed as important or smart.

Lying road signsThen there are the lies that victimize and hurt others, being lied on or lied to. We’ve all had a turn in that seat. I recently ended a relationship with a person who was a beautiful liar; he lied to me effortlessly, repeatedly without remorse or a second thought, even going so far as to tell me that my suspicions were all in my head. We had a beautiful friendship, but, ultimately, due to the volume, depth and frequency of his deceit, I lost the ability to discern whether what he told me was fact or fiction. I am not sure even he knew…

His lies drove us apart, and created fissures and fractures in our relationship that became too many number, or repair. I determined to forgive and release him, but I still wonder why he lied as he died. I asked him why a few times; he never answered. I suspect that he, like many of us, was motivated by fear. I’d love to know what he scared him enough to lie so easily; but I think he has to find that out first.

Sometimes we tell a lie so often that it becomes our reality, if manufactured.

Oh, and then there are the lies we don’t say with words, but with actions instead. During my tenure at a Christian nonprofit, a colleague printed her brother’s wedding invitations on the organization’s color copier, and used company paper stock. She didn’t think there was anything wrong with that even though she sneaked in on a Saturday to do it.

 

LIES OF THE ENEMY, THE FATHER OF LIES

There are the lies we tell, and then there are the lies we are told and believe. God told us that the devil is the father of lies.

“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44, NIV

 

optical deception

Satan, the accuser of the brethren, tells us we are not good enough and we believe him. He tells us we are not worthy of God’s love, mercy, or grace, and we believe him. He tells us gossiping about our colleagues is no big deal, and we believe him. He says we are not talented, not anointed for greatness and have no purpose and we believe him. He tells us not to forgive our enemies, to sleep with hatred, bitterness and anger, and we do it. He compels us to stir controversy, conflict and confusion, which God abhors, and we do it. He tells us that adultery is no big deal, and we do it. He tells us little white lies, and that using our employer’s resources to print personal items are unimportant to God, and we believe it. He tells us that we are not good enough for God’s love, that we have made too many mistakes, and that He could never forgive us of our sins and transgressions, and we believe it…

We believe satan too easily and too often. He is the father of lies and the author of confusion. Simply put, the devil is a liar, yesterday, tomorrow and always. He comes with the same, old game, and we need not play it. Enough.

Enough of falling for his wiles, and getting stuck in the same, old traps. Lies, whether we tell them or a victim of them, are the enemy’s tactic to separate us from the love of the Lord by guilt, shame and condemnation, to break fellowship, and to seed discord among Believers.

Satan has no new tricks. There’s nothing new about the root of deception. Thankfully, God is not new. His love does not evolve; it does not increase or reduce based on anything we do or say. His fresh mercy greets us every morning. God is so perfect, so purely holy that he cannot tell a lie. He is faithful to keep all of His promises (Psalm 145:13) including his promise to be faithful and just to forgive us of all unrighteousness (I John 1:9), if well tell Him about it. That’s the kind of father He is. His news is still good; and thank God that He forgives and forgets our missteps before we ever make them (Psalm 103:12).

Thank God.

 

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