“In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” – Unknown
Nowadays it’s hard to find forthright, honest and truth-telling people. University of Massachusetts psychologist Ronald Feldman did a study that showed that 60% of people will lie an average of 2-3 times in a 10 minute conversation. It’s not surprising that Noel Coward exclaimed, “It is discouraging how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.” DECEIT- is the action or practice of deceiving someone by concealing or misrepresenting the truth. Deceive means to cause someone to believe something that is not true, typically in order to gain some personal advantage; to give a mistaken impression; to catch, ensnare or cheat.
When the disciple Nathanael heard about Jesus, he asked, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Nathanael told it like it was and wasn’t pulling any punches. This was refreshing to Jesus, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is no deceit,” Christ proclaimed. (John 1:46-47) It is difficult to be a person of integrity without guile, but that’s what we should be aiming for. There are enough sly and cunning tricksters in the world.
What’s the difference between lying and deception? Lying is telling someone something that is not accurate. Deception is much broader. It is causing someone to believe something false as the truth. Deception can take many forms. Lying is just one manner by which an individual can be deceived. Deception can be concealment (omissions in speech, or physical), propaganda, distractions, etc. Deception is not always intentional. A person can even be self-deceived due to the reception of wrong information or rumor. Though lying and deceiving go together, they are not synonymous. (differencebetween.com)
Because deceit is not always intentional, we have to be on our guard to tell, hear and seek the truth. Ephesians 4:15 states that speaking the truth in love is a sign of maturity. It’s easy to spin accounts of what happened to benefit ourselves. There are three sides to every story, your side, my side and the truth. Proverbs 26:24 warns us that “Enemies disguise themselves with their lips, but they harbor deceit.” “Shonuff! you say,” –but sometimes the enemy is IN-A-ME. Stumbling occurs over little white lies, shadings and hyperbolic statements. Our insecurities make us want to present our best selves to the world – but deceit is not a good look. That’s why Paul told the church at Ephesus, “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.” (Ephesians 4:25) After your next 10-minute conversation ask yourself…How many times did I just lie, deceive, withhold or embellish parts of the truth to spare myself, or to make myself look better or be right? Selah.
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