Do you tell the truth?
You don’t have to answer that question right now. However, the question is one that we must ask ourselves, especially since lying is starting to be expected and accepted from people in high positions.
But just for the record. I have not always told the truth. I have lied to myself. I have lied to others. I have let people lie to me. I have also let people lie on me. And, I have failed to establish healthy boundaries when people showed me that they were liars, betrayers, and manipulators.
But when I think about why I have lied and why I have allowed people to lie to me, I realized that I was just afraid. I was scared of failing, I was scared of not measuring up, I was scared of being devalued, and I was scared of the truth. I was scared of being invisible. I was scared of being ignored. I was scared of being overlooked. I was scared of being overwhelmed! I was afraid with a capital “A”. Fear gripped, grabbed and governed me! I am not proud of admitting that I was afraid, but of course, I am not going to lie.
When I work with leaders – in corporate America and in ministry – most admit that they lie too. Some of the strongest, most devout people I know admit to skirting the truth to dodge rebuke, keep a job or to keep their marriage. They have admitted to lying by omission too, and we all know that not speaking up is equally as damaging to relationships.
I am not here to judge because I realize that the truth can be a scary thing. Truth has a way of exposing our flaws, failures, and frailties. Truth has a way of undressing us, unmasking us and unraveling our perfectly constructed public personas. And let’s face it — being publicly vulnerable can be terrifying.
Of course, being scared does not justify lying but it does alert you that you have some internal work to do.
Lying signals that there is trouble brewing in your spirit and that anxiety is overwhelming your mind. Lying is an indication that you are hiding, hurting and huddling with the wrong people and in the world places. Lying suggests that you are not aware, not awake and not attuned to what’s happening or what’s not happening in your life and in the world. Lying means that you are only concerned about you and people connected to you.
Lying never makes us feel good for long; it’s a temporary band-aid at best. But if you are a person of integrity, just know that lying slowly erodes your self-respect, self-confidence, and self-trust. It makes you feel insecure, defensive and a bit paranoid.
If you know that you are not telling yourself the truth, today consider why you are lying. Ask yourself why you are lying to others. Identify why you are lying to yourself about yourself. Think about why you are lying to yourself about your circumstances, habits, and situations. Think about why you are lying about your progress, your actions or your liabilities. Also, consider why you allow others to consistently lie to you and about you.
Refusing to tell the truth diminishes your character. It robs your relationships of the trust it needs to thrive. And most of all, lying affects how you feel about YOU and what you think about YOU!
My pastor warned us on Sunday that the truth is in trouble. I agree. But we can change that by getting in touch with our fears and challenging our fears, which are lies, with the power of truth. We can decide today to act with integrity even when it’s hard, inconvenient and unpopular. Don’t you agree?
Let’s dare to soar higher as truth-tellers because ONLY the truth will set us free.
*P.S. I would love to share a free chapter from my bestselling book, “I Have Learned A Few Things”, with you. Please click here.