So, I consider myself a bad liar. I am a brutally honest kind of person, so not telling the truth pains me. But when it comes to my daughter, I will fly to the moon and back to protect her feelings. I have left her out of the loop quite a bit over the years to not hurt her, which has sometimes entailed lying so that she would not worry or be concerned about things. Don’t most parents do that? I know that lying is one of the 10 Commandments, but is it conditional? Is it wrong if out of love? And is it deceit if intentions are pure?
Have you ever told a loved one that they look great when asked and it just isn’t true? Most of us have all done that from time to time to spare feelings, especially if we love the person or they already have low self-esteem or are having a tough time. When coming from a place of compassion, it is often easier to say something false instead of hurtful. But some say what people want to hear to be deceitful. Most of us know the definition of lying, but what is the true meaning of deceit?
Dictionary.com gives this definition of deceit:
Most of us can admit that we have lied. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t. When I was younger I lied to my mom about where I was, regularly or I told guys that were crazy about me that I wasn’t dating anyone so they wouldn’t feel rejected. But deceit, that is ugly. It is malicious and pre-meditated and it hurts people, blatantly. I dated this guy and I had been single for several years and was cautious. I wear my heart on my sleeve and he knew it, so he pretended to be super into me in order to make me fall for him and then he left. That sucked. Big time.
I don’t think that I have ever gone out of my way to mislead someone in order to gain something or cheat someone out of something. In this culture of hookups and ghosting, many people use deceit on the regular. I have a friend that I met in junior high who treated deceit as a sport for many years. She misled guys into thinking that she was one type of woman in order to get money or material things and I just could never get on board. She was all about hurting them before they hurt her.
I am not Mother Teresa or necessarily pure of heart, but I just care too much about how other people feel to do something like that. I tried to be a player when I was in my 20’s and it just wasn’t me. I got caught when I tried to date several people and though I never told them we were exclusive, but my actions they perceived suggested we were. After that short stint of trying to be cool or uncaring or whatever, I didn’t practice that type of behavior again. It just wasn’t me.
Some may say that deceit and lying are one in the same, but I disagree. Neither one of them is right, but the former is a lot more damaging. Though lying can hurt people too, and I have been lied to many times in my life, especially by men. It can really destroy someone’s self-confidence and belief in others after a while. But I think that deceit is a game that can only be played by the professionals and thank God I don’t count myself as one of them.
My caring heart could never set out to hurt someone for sport and I think that is what deceit is about. Though lying isn’t right, even white lies, but if it prevents someone from getting hurt, it is tricky. Being a straight shooter like I am, telling lies is not something that I practice often, so I choose to be gentler with my words in an effort to be truthful. Like this verse from dailyverses.net
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.