POINTS TO PONDER

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Over fifty years ago, a TV show began to air called “To Tell the Truth,” with Bud Collyer as the host and various TV and Hollywood celebrities as panelists. It was revived in 2016 with Anthony Anderson as the host. The basic theme is for the panelist to guess which contestants were lying or telling the truth.

One interesting fact is that when you do research on “truth,” most likely, you will be directed to articles on “lying.” It seems to be one way of telling a person what happens if you don’t tell the truth. U.S. News magazine discovered that people lie more in writing. They lie most in e-mails, on internet connection sites, and in text messages. And oddly enough, in a recent study, it showed that bearded men were more trusted to tell the truth than those who are clean-shaven.

Another thing, in a study conducted in 2008, researchers found that 100% of participants, when asked to conceal their true emotions, showed signs of their real feelings. This shows that lying doesn’t come naturally, not even in a large pool of different types of people. Also, as reported by USA Today, lying has shown signs of being detrimental to health. This is due in part to the fact that lying adds stress to your life, which can take a huge toll on your physical well-being.

Here’s an additional fact that may surprise you. Another clinical test showed that Americans tell an average of seven lies per day in January, compared to the usual average of four. Most can guess what those extra three lies are usually about, New Year’s resolutions, post-holiday diets, Christmas vacation details, and how the holidays really went. Furthermore, it has been proven that due to the psychological toll that lying takes on a person, liars are bound to use fewer, more tentative words when speaking. There is only so much brainpower to go around, and a ton of it goes directly to concocting and performing the lie rather than to an impressive vocabulary.

Then a fact that was, more or less, already suspected showed that the average person can only detect lies about 50% of the time. It’s hard to tell because a lot of the behavior we’ve been trained to associate with lying simply isn’t true, such as a liar not being able to look you in the eye. And here’s one that may surprise you, men and women lie an equal amount, but for different reasons. Men tend to lie to make themselves look better, while women tend to lie to make the other person feel better and more comfortable in the conversation.

What does this teach us? Lying is most often done to cover up the truth. So that leads us to look at the reasons why we should all strive to tell the truth. So, let us look at five good reasons why truth is better than lies. Thibaut Meurisse, founder of “whatispersonaldevelopment.org,” is obsessed with seeking ways to improve, he dedicates his life to finding the best possible ways to durably transform both his life and the lives of others.

One: Telling the truth empowers people around you to change and grow. Change is impossible without knowing the truth. We cannot change something in ourselves if we are not aware that it is there and that it needs to be changed. How can people around us change if they are not told the truth?

However, instead of telling the truth, we often hide it because we don’t want to upset others. Deep down, we don’t want to be rejected, and we are scared of letting go of any control we have over people. We refuse to give people the freedom to reject us or to get angry at us and want to control them. Because of that, we prevent them from growing.

Two: Telling the truth brings you peace of mind. Being true with who you are, allows you to maintain a high level of integrity and brings you peace of mind. You know that you are living a life that is in line with your deeper values. Your life is guided by your values, and thus, your decisions are based on truth. You can look at yourself in the mirror with a sense of pride, sleep well at night, and fully express your true self to others. By being true to yourself, it becomes easier for you to be true to others. As a result, you become a better friend, partner, parent, or colleague. Is your life based on truth? Is it reflecting your core values?

Three: Telling the truth is a sign of love. Real love goes beyond lies and the desire to control others. Attempting to control people around us is a selfish behavior derived from a feeling of fear and insecurity. When we really care about our friends or family, we must be ready to tell them what they don’t want to hear.

Acquaintances tell you what you want to hear, but real friends will tell you what you don’t want to hear. Lack of truth will lead to the decay of any relationship. It will be a waste of time for both partners. For instance, if one partner wants to break up but is afraid, to tell the truth, it will be a waste of time for both partners and will create more pain in the end. Is there any area in your life where telling the truth could help people who you care about improve their life?

Four: Telling the truth earns respect. Being able to tell the truth will earn your respect because telling the truth shows you really care for others. A lack of truth shows a lack of consideration for people you are interacting with. You are not willing to help them grow and prefer to stay in your comfort zone by hiding the truth. You believe yourself to be someone nice while, in fact, you simply haven’t the courage to hurt other people’s feelings even when they ask for your sincere feedback.

However, when others perceived you as someone who is consistently telling the truth, they will seek your advice and listen to you. They will respect you for that. Don’t you want to earn other people’s respect?

Five: Telling the truth creates deeper connections. Accepting to tell the truth to people means that you are willing to fully express your feelings no matter how scary it is. It clearly shows a high level of trust and encourages your family, your friends, your partner, or other people you are interacting with to open their hearts too. By accepting to appear vulnerable, you appear more trustworthy. One person shared that they were surprised to see how quickly people were opening up to them. The reason they were sharing intimate stories with them is simple because they were sharing a lot about their own life.

So, how much of yourself are you sharing with others? Are you hiding your weaknesses, or do you allow yourself to appear vulnerable? Truth is power. Learn to use it and start bringing more integrity in your life. Remember that truth might often be painful to hear, and learn to deliver it in a way that won’t lead other people to get defensive. Truth that comes from a place of love and consideration will be appreciated.

But let us not forget what the Bible says about truth. The Psalmist prayed: Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you, I wait all day long.[1] Then petitioned the Lord: Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to reverence your name.[2] And one of the youngest Psalmists wrote: The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.[3] And finally, another Psalmist wrote: The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.[4] No doubt, King Solomon knew all these things and share that lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are His delight.[5]

But our Lord Jesus is the best source. He told His followers: And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.[6] Then, to a person who wanted to follow Him, Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.[7] Not only that, but in His promise of another comforter to guide and lead them as He did, the Master told them: When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come.[8] And just before He left, Jesus prayed to the Father: Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.[9]

Warning: the following truth may be hard for immature believers to accept. So read with caution. The hardest thing for any believer who has Jesus in their heart and the Holy Spirit dwelling in them to do is tell a lie. So always keep in mind what the Apostle John heard said in his revelation: As for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.[10] It’s so important to keep in mind that habitual lying without confessing the truth may create hell on earth before a person actually ends up there. The best cure for lying is confessing the wrong and telling the truth. – Dr. Robert R Seyda

[1] Psalm 25:5

[2] Ibid. 86:11

[3] Ibid. 119:160

[4] Ibid. 145:18

[5] Proverbs 12:22

[6] John 8:32

[7] Ibid. 14:6

[8] Ibid. 16:13

[9] Ibid. 17:17

[10] Revelation 21:8

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
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