In an article from Psychology Today it says, “Who lies? My best guess is that everyone does. That’s what my research, and other work, too, suggests. For example, in one of the sets of studies that my colleagues and I conducted, two groups of people – 77 college students and 70 people from the community – kept diaries every day for a week of all of the lies that they told and all of their social interactions lasting at least 10 minutes. The college students lied in one out of about every three of their social interactions, and the people from the community lied in one out of every five interactions. Over the course of the week, only 1% of the college students and 9% of the people from the community claimed to have told no lies at all. (Yes, my first thought was – they are lying about not lying.)” Lies may be self serving – exaggerations and puffing up one’s status, they may be kind-hearted (not trying to hurt others feelings – “you look great, you’ve lost weight”), or they may be outright lies and distortions that come out of a psychology of fear or punishment. There may be many other types of lies and liars and although everyone lies and those who say they don’t lie are liars too, it hurts. Our inauthentic persona, whether it is to be kind hearted and well intentioned or purposely posing, distorts reality and hurts others.
In Scriptures we find these words, “No prolonged infancies among us, please. We’ll not tolerate babes in the woods, small children who are an easy mark for impostors. God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love—like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love.” (Ephesians 4:15 The Message) In some ways modern day Christianity promotes lies because to be authentic, transparent, and honest about our lives would make us so vulnerable that we would be ostracized from a church rather than embraced and forgiven. We kill the sinner rather than heal them. To speak the truth in love is a foreign concept but it is exactly what Jesus wanted for his followers.
I love that line, “robust in love.” That is what I hope for in a faith community and relationships. Relationships where we acknowledge our brokenness and encourage turthfullness modified with robust love. Relationships where we can empty our burdens without fear of reprisal or disgust. When we experience that kind of forgiveness and healing that makes us want to become better people and tell the truth more frequently. Thank God for people who embrace truth and forgiveness – even though they have their own darkness to deal with at times.