While people may lie in a relationship for a selfish reason, most other times, people in a relationship actually lie with the thought to protect the relationship.
Yet, it’s probably safe to assume that every Christian wants a relationship that is built on openness, loyalty, and trust. It is also safe to assume that one could clearly believe everything that comes out of another’s mouth once it is a Christian relationship!
Certainly, these aren’t as safe as we would want to assume. Understanding why people lie in a Christian relationship and building a trusting relationship is not only a necessary value for avoiding the tendency to falsehood but for being conscious not to put one another in situations where they are tempted to lie.
For the purpose of this article, lying which is the practice of communicating lies will be defined to mean an assertion or action that is believed to be false, typically used with the purpose of deceiving another.
As natural as lying seems to be to human beings, trusting relationships is also a basic human need, and as we all know, lying destroys trust. Perhaps, Christians are best positioned to building trusting relationships being a people regenerated with the truth.
So, why do people lie even in a Christian relationship?
Lies in any form, and especially those communicated as an attempt to protected oneself, or to save face and protect one’s ego are driven by the following;
- Fear of embarrassment
- Fear of judgment, or punishment.
- Fear of making the wrong impression of oneself, or giving the wrong perception of oneself.
- Fear of losing the relationship, loss of respect, or loss of love.
Besides these fears, people also lie deliberately to protect their own selfish interests, and to manipulate others. While others lie intentionally to keep secrecy on something they feel doesn’t befit their status.
People lie every time they overstretched things in other to impress or make themselves seem better, more important, more attractive than they actually are.
LIKE in the fraud triangle, people could also lie in response to; perceived pressure, perceived opportunity, and rationalization. In perceived pressure, people lie when they are pushed to the wall. Such pressures from undue competitions, unnecessary comparisons, unhealthy expectations, pride, and haughtiness. In a perceived opportunity, people lie when they are given the chances. perceived opportunity is seen in those situations where people assume the consequences of Lying to be preferable to the consequences of telling the truth. And In rationalization, people lie believing that everyone does the same.
However, in the Christian Faith, lies are lies. No big lie, no small lie. No white lie, No grey lie. And generally, lying is stemmed from a heart that’s still in sin. According to the Holy Writ; “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, …, deceit, …: Mark 7:21-23.
Different Ways Christians Lie in Relationships
There are different things people do that are deceptive. All of which are defiling and destructive to Christian Relationships. Some examples are as follows:
- Disinformation: intentional false, inaccurate information or gives half truth mixed up with lies made to suit one’s purpose.
- Manipulations: By deliberately twisting and mixing up situations to achieve a selfish interest. Like the case of Amnon and Tamar
- Exaggeration: stretching the truth in a bit to impress and gain acceptance.
- Flattering: Giving insincere compliments with an aim to have one’s way. Like the case in Ps 55:21
- Secrecy: hiding crucial information. Especially, one that would cause tret to the future health of the relationship. A good example is keeping individuals health status.
- Hypocrisy and Pretense: any form of secret agenda different from one’s open representation. 1 John 1:6.
- Cheating and failure to be accountable.
- Failed Promises
What Do Christians Lie About in Relationships
These are the situations that often pushed Christians to the wall and tempts them to lie. They include;
- Finances: people lie both about their haves and have not. It all depends on the situations promulgating it.
- Relationship status: people tend to keep secrecy on their other relationships. Especially, complicated relationship status.
- Health status: people tend to prefer keeping their health information to themselves. Even the ones that are of mutual concern. Especially in Christianity where some people’s faith may support a blind eye to their medical facts. Yet, for a trusting relationship, it is crucial that every information is divulged.
- People could also lie and pretend to care when they don’t. Sometimes, tthey’reso many unnecessary relationships which could have been put to the stop if the parties were honest to themselves. Stressing this in my previous article; ‘women and Silence’ I highlighted that…Giving one’s consent or dissent will save one’s life from complications and liberate one from manipulating others with indecisiveness.
Dangers of Lying in Christian Relationships
All these lies, regardless of their form and motives are obnoxious to God. God views lies in His blacklists as we see in Prov 6:16_19.
Even in situations where it seems the consequences of telling the truth outweigh the risk of telling a lie, all lies beside blowing up the relationship, even if one doesn’t get caught, a lie often damages Christian relationship. Because when you lie, you are taking situations into your hands and do not show faith in God.
As a matter of experience, lying is one of the crucial redflag of wrong relationships. It is the tell-tale signs of infidelity which often follows before a relationship goes downhill. This is one of the reason why I emphasized in my previous article about giving gifts, explaining that giving is not all about the material things. Equally quite valuable it is to be given the trusting elements; which is truth and humility.
Another reason lying is dangerous is that it leads to more pressure, more complications, more lie until it blows up and you are faced with sustaining the relationship-damaging consequences that deteriorate the bond you have and may ultimately end up destroying the relationship completely.
To lie in Christian Relationships is like choosing to set a keg of gunpowder which would end up blowing the relationship.
More so, lying betrays trust and loyalty. Once confirmed lying, it is very hard to regain trust.
Lying breeds resentment, disappointment, hurt emotions, and a hurting memory.
How to Avoid Lying in Christian Relationships
Cleansed Heart: The Bible is clear about the matters of the heart. Proverbs 4:23 re-sounds thus, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life“.
The human heart is the seat of all actions. Everything we think, say and do proceeds from the heart: “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh” Luke 6:45.
Thus, watch what breeds in your heart. Let your heart be regenerated and right with God, for the heart of the matter, is the conditions of the human heart. The tongues only speak the content of the heart.
Being Deliberate: this means being conscious of all that gets you tempted to lie. It also involves avoiding being too desperate in certain situations where pressure, pride or embarrassment seems to be the treat.
By weighing your words or actions first, you stand a chance of being more realistic. Especially, realistic in your promises. measuring your readiness prior to giving words of commitment. If possible reducing the rate one makes premises and adopting surprises in one’s dealings with others.
Above all, Trust God for Help overlying: the lasting solution to avoiding lies is to embrace the Word of God and the Grace our Lord gives in His saving power even over lies. As recorded in Psalms 119:9; “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word“.
The Truth Behind Deception in Christian Relationships
The perfect will of God cannot be gotten by manipulations. Nothing corruptible can generate the incorruptible.
A relationship that will reflect the Glory of God and fulfill God’s purpose will need to follow God’s divine pattern. In this pattern, there’s a place for waiting, trust and Faith on God to making the relationship work…, “that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore’. Joshua 3:4
In our manner of speech, our plans of living, our dealings with others, our conduct and walk in life; all should be as becomes the gospel.
We ought to Commit to living the truth knowing that a God-made relationship is guaranteed when built on the foundation of the truth.
Say this prayer_Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Psalms 141:3