Don’t you find it difficult to live a lie? Usually, it goes like this:
Step #1: I tell a lie (or omit the truth)
Step #2: I have to cover up the lie
Step #3: I continue to try to cover up the lie with more lies
Step #4: I eventually get caught in the lie or my conscience eats away at me and I decide to admit the truth
If you have children, you know exactly what this scenario looks like. You see some crayon on the wall, and ask your child how it happened. Your child, out of fear of being punished, denies that he colored on the wall. When you ask “Well, then how do you explain the crayon on the wall?”, your child creates a story to explain away the mess. Finally, when your voice becomes more stern and you say “I will give you one last chance to tell me the truth, and if you don’t you are in big trouble!”, your child says “Okay, Mom I colored on the wall! I’m sorry! I will never do it again! Please don’t punish me!”
Adults, like children, find creative ways to lie, and sometimes live the majority of their adult lives based on lies. Adam and Eve in the book of Genesis in the Holy Bible are the perfect example of this scenario: (1)Eve eats the apple and gives it to Adam to eat; (2) both realize that they are naked; and (3) they hide from God to cover up their shame. It seems that, from the dawn of existence men and women were destined to lie.
Lies can take on many forms. From my early days as a law student, we learned that a crime can be committed by commission (i.e., or an act) or omission (i.e., by failing to act). For some individuals, they attempt to deceive others with their conniving words, smooth talk, and empty promises. By all appearance, these individuals seem outwardly successful, yet they lack the confidence, integrity, and moral compass necessary to truly lead from the inside out.
For others, their lying ways show up as a failure to stand up when leadership is called for. These individuals sometimes hide behind others to cover for their own shortcomings. Still yet, you have some individuals that are duplicitous and say one thing to one individual and the complete opposite to someone else. Women, we have all encountered that sister that is the gossip queen and speaks kindly to your face while spewing hatred behind your back. How many of us desire to have that kind of friend? All of these types of individuals and more exemplify a lying or deceitful lifestyle.
And yet, from time to time, some of us find a way out of the lies we tell to finally live in the truth. How is that possible? Is there a way to break out of a habit or lifestyle of lying to finally live in the truth? Absolutely!
The most important step to living an honest, light-filled lifestyle is for us to examine ourselves. Everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) has been dishonest at some point in their lives. It is human nature to try to cover up our true selves, especially when we believe that who we really are is not acceptable to those around us. We must examine our lifestyle, behavior, and conduct and admit to ourselves that we are not living in the light as we should.
Lamentations 3:40 (NIV) says “Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to The Lord.”
Likewise, King David asked God in Psalm 26:2-3 (NIV): “Test me, O Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth.”
Intuitively, self-examination seems futile because if I am an avid liar, I can lie to myself about my behavior or rationalize it in a way that makes sense to me. And you know what? Many of us do excuse our own decisions, and there is nothing that God can do about it except to judge us. But for those of us that feel the heavy weight that comes from a deceitful lifestyle and desire to change, there is help for us. For when we search our hearts and allow God to come in and show us the areas that need fixing, we can position ourselves to receive the help and support that we need to come out of darkness and into light.
If you desire to live in the truth and the light of God’s love and forgiveness, then repeat this prayer with me:
Lord Jesus, I desire to walk in the light of your truth and your grace. Lord, I have not been honest with myself and others, and as a result of my dishonesty I have hurt you and those around me. Lord, examine my heart and show me the areas in my life that need exposure and correction. Bring me to a place in you where I no longer feel that I have to lie to be happy or accepted by others. Forgive me for the lies that I have told and the lifestyle that I have lived, and place me on a path of honesty, light, and love. In Jesus’s name I pray, Amen.
Life is not easy. Oftentimes, we feel like we are backed into a corner and forced to lie to save loved ones, keep our way of life, or to advance in our careers and businesses. As women, we lie to save our children, keep up an adulterous lifestyle, or out of fear of our debtors or our shareholders. Lying has not only become a way of life, but it is quickly being seen as the only way to survive.
Let me tell you, living in the dark is a fallacy that eventually catches up with you. As we see in popular media everyday, everyone from baseball players to politicians to celebrity cooks are being cast in a negative light due to their duplicitous lifestyles. More and more, these individuals are being exposed as phonies and are quickly losing the respect of their colleagues and the public.
We must remember that regardless of whether our lies are exposed on national television or to the neighbor next door, God sees everything. And whether we believe or acknowledge it, all of our actions–good and bad–are being recorded in the Lamb’s book of life (see Rev. 21:27). If we fail to acknowledge our deceitful ways, ask forgiveness, and turn from them, God will have no choice but to judge us (see Acts 5:1-11).
To be sure, I have paid a pretty penny for my deceitful ways. You probably have too. It hurts to lie, and living a deceitful lifestyle feels like you are in bondage. You so desperately want to get out, but are afraid of how your life might fall apart if you tell the truth.
I came to tell you to “LET IT FALL APART!” We oftentimes build lies like structures, and to truly demolish a structure that you have so skillfully erected requires that you let it fall, so that your life can be rebuilt on the right foundation. I hear you saying to me “But Anique, I can’t tell my husband that I am cheating on him! He would leave me and my kids would hate me forever!” Or, you may be saying “Anique, you can’t expect me to march into the judge’s office and tell her that I lied on court documents! I will lose my law license and worse!”
It may be difficult to believe this right now, but LIFE GOES ON AFTER YOU COME CLEAN! It may not continue in the way that it once was, but you will survive. The true hurt for our loved ones is not in the fact that we admit the truth, but it comes when they must discover it on their own. You may think that the discovery of the truth is in your hands, and moves according to your timetable but it does not. Oftentimes, the truth comes out at a time that is most inconvenient, and least expected.
Beautiful sisters, do not let your beauty be corrupted by living a life built on lies. It is important and vital that we lead ourselves and others from a place of truth, free from the shame that lying brings into our lives. Let us not rise to the peak of our personal and professional careers and be “dethroned” by a secret or a lie that comes back to hurt us. If it is something that you have done that is shameful, own up to it, apologize, seek forgiveness from God, and make amends if possible. Don’t allow shame to separate you from God and those that you love. Trust me, God can pick up the pieces of your life and reshape them into something beautiful–and full of light.
1 John 1:5-9 (NIV) says “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Walking in the light with you,