Lies and gossip are like a spider web. They both start small and grow until they spin out of control. Both are sticky mazes! You can’t get out and you can’t see how you got in. The lies you believe entrap you and the lies you tell entangle you. This is quoted from my book, Junk or Joy.
There are many kinds of lies and deception and many kinds of webs, but to simplify things I will discuss two categories of lies: entrapping lies and entangling lies. The lies you believe entrap you and the lies you tell entangle you. I have written several blogs on the lies we believe and how they entrap us by “coloring” all input and filtering it through these lies. (4 Commn Categories of Lies About Our Identity. What is the Truth About Our Identity?) There is a way to break the power of those lies over ourselves and our identity.
One additional “entrapping lie” I will discuss here is the lie of not being yourself. When you present one persona to the world, another persona at church, and yet a different one at work, at home, etc., I call it the chameleon syndrome. Most people who live this way don’t seem to realize what they are doing. We can couch it as “being polite”, when in fact it is trying to please man and be whatever you perceive that you need to be to please and be accepted by that group of people. I know people who treat everyone in their life with such sweetness, but lash out in anger continually at their own family! This is a lie that entraps whole families because their entire home life becomes a secret that no one outside the family would believe! It comes out of an unhealed heart.
I will talk about four kinds of lies you tell that entangle you. The first one I will label as gossip. These lies are insidious and deceptive because you are often just repeating and perhaps adding a little to what someone told you about a person, situation, etc. It is so common we even have a phrase in our language to describe it–stretching the truth. We have all played the Telephone Game where the first person whispers a phrase to a second person and they proceed to pass it on through a whole circle of people; it comes out unrecognizable at the end. The Bible tells us to go to the person we have a problem with and if that doesn’t work take someone with us. We need to be very careful to state facts that we get straight from the source and not just repeat hearsay. Even listening to it, encourages and strengthens the gossip.
A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends. Prov. 16:28 (NLT)
A second kind of lie that entangles us are the lies we tell to “get out of” something we did. I once had a teenager who told me what she thought I should hear to stay out of trouble. I would carefully note details and keep them tucked away in my “memory bank”. Things like names, places, mileage on the car, gas tank readings–all sorts of things. Then when things did not line up, I would be able to confront her with truth. In this kind of scenario it becomes hard to remember what you said, who you said it to, and when you said it. This is the spider web. The lies start small and innocent and spin out of control when they start contradicting what you said before to someone else. Talk about a sticky maze. The truth is always the best and the most respectful act. How many of us have been more hurt by a person lying to us than by what they actually did?
The third kind of lies are the malicious lies we tell when we have offense against someone who has hurt us. We often repeat our side of the story so often that we soon convince ourselves that we are totally justified and it is ALL the other person’s fault. This is often the case in marriages, but when we are honest before God and are willing to ask Him what part we are responsible for, it is often quite shocking! You can’t get out and you can’t see how you got in, because you have so justified your actions that denial and deception are blinding you to the truth and only the truth will set you free. Remember that the people closest to us are often the ones we hurt the most and every situation has as many sides to the story as there are people involved. The question becomes are you willing to humble yourself before the Lord and ask Him what part you contributed to? Are you willing to take responsibility for cleaning up your part?
Fourth, what about the lies of omission or what we call half-truths? I am not saying we always have to tell everything we know. Sometimes it is wise to keep things to yourself and it is wise to choose who you share things with. Sometimes God gives us things to pray about and not to share. But the question becomes our motivation for keeping silent–are we hiding something and why? Who are we keeping the truth from and why? God looks at the heart and we cannot hide from Him. Only the truth can set you free!