"Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity." Ecclesiastes 1:2. Solomon learned through the wisdom of God that worldliness is vanity and isn't worth losing your soul over. It seems that there are less people these days who can be trusted. Gossip and lying have just become devices for personal and collective advancement in this world. "The end justifies the means" is the motto of modern man. It is constant in the public arena. There is a saying around here that if a politician's mouth is open, he or she is lying. I see men all of the time seeking to gain corporate advancement by "pencil whipping" their reports and asking subordinates to do the same so they will look good on paper. I hear "fish" stories all of the time from people. These aren't your typical: "I caught a 5 pound bass!" When they really caught a 2 pound bass. No, the stories are becoming more embellished and hurting more people. Sometimes these stories are about others, and usually aren't very positive. Some of these stories are quite incredible. I remember working with a guy that was so full of it. I told him, "man, you have an exciting life! I don't know anyone else that has as many adventures as you do! You are a regular Indiana Jones!" The truth is that he was just a drama junkie. He just wanted attention and affirmation. His stories didn't really hurt anyone but him, but if he would lie about the little vanities (fish stories) of life, what would keep him from lying about the big vanities (Lies that affect others such as workplace performance, adultery, gossip, etc...)? Some people lie so much, they begin to believe the lies themselves. Now I will admit, I would be lying if I said that I never lied before. So I am not writing here as an innocent party. My lies finally caught up with me, and I trust now that I have learned my lesson. But have your lies caught up with you? If not, they will.
Tell the Truth
Lies are usually told to cover up some defect of character or personal performance. First of all, it is always best to tell the truth and keep things on an honest plane. If you have been in a habit of lying for vanities sake (Worldly things), I found that it is best to confess to those offended and God. No lie is worth losing your soul over. If you do tell the truth the weight of misery and grief will slowly be lifted off of your shoulders. If not, the lies will eat away at your soul like a parasite. It is true that not all will respond well to your "truth bomb." There will be consequences and "blow back" at you for your offense(s). Some will be sad, some will be angry, nevertheless, it will be better than getting caught in the lie. It will also take time to regain and rebuild trust with others. Depending on the damage, it could take years. You could be disciplined if it is in a professional setting. Nevertheless, it must be done for the sake of your soul and your conscience (If you have one). The initial part of the process is hard, but the end result is freeing and will bring peace. God will forgive.
1 Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD.
2 Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.
3 If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?
4 But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.
5 I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
6 My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.
7 Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.
8 And he shall redeem Israel (seed of faith; Rom 2:28-29/Heb 11-12) from all his iniquities.
Is There Ever a Good Time To Lie?
I would say that the only time one may lie and be justified would be to protect someone else from bodily harm (Joshua 2:1-21); meaning, mutilation, death, or imprisonment for reasons of injustice. Paul said in Colossians 3:9 "Lie not one to another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his deeds;" Now Paul was speaking to a local Church, and within that fellowship there was suppose to be fellowship, honesty, and continuity. However, some were being persecuted by the government and even local pagans. Just like in the time of Rahab when she lied for the Israelite spies, the brethren had to protect each other from religious persecution for the sake of the gospel and their family. So in cases like that, it is okay to protect your brothers and sisters in Christ. Otherwise, there is no excuse.
I hope that these thoughts will be helpful to you. If you have a lie or lies buried within, confess them to the offended and to God (Matthew 5:23-26). Things will heal and be set right in time. In the long run, you will have peace for your soul.