By Carlton Foster – December 21, 2018
There is a great danger in the way we have been personally operating and functioning as individuals. We could be hurting ourselves without realizing it, when we listen to stories.
Telling lies to fracture unity and dispels doubt in our hearts about others.
The commandment that said “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor (Exodus 20:16)”, this verse is more concerned for the person hearing the lies, than the person telling the lies. Why? Lies believed changed something in the hearts of the persons hearing them. Lies break trust and sow multiple discords and animosities. It fosters a sense of fear and disappointment towards the person or thing being the subject of the lie.
A lie is a statement used intentionally for deception. Lies are used to serving a variety of instrumental, interpersonal, or psychological functions for the individuals who used them to manipulate the listeners and are more dangerous to the listeners. A negative change takes place in the listeners who believed the lies towards the subject of the lie. The listener started to conjure up thoughts of disappointments, mistrust, hate, avoidance, and many other negative thoughts just by hearing the lies about the person.
Doubts are the avenues to disbelief and hostility resulting in disfellowshipped.
The results of a believed lie lead to doubts and hostility for the person in the story. These negative attitudes bring forth a change in the listeners and carry a series of prolonged actions against the person, persons, or things being lied about. Most often these actions lead to disfellowshipping, alienation, hostility, and even reactive behaviors to the person. This is what Satan aims to accomplish in the listeners! He wants to see this happened to the listeners, thereby fulfilling his evil goals of making them sinners. The listeners end up being damaged by hearing the lies.
Identifiable techniques for sowing discords.
The techniques to identify a lie are definable in the initial phase of the lie; normally the story has these characteristics: it is intriguing, has secrecy, there is a sense of protection against some fear, and there is some enlightenment for the listener. An example is when Satan wanted to educate Eve about how God is holding back more insightful truth from Eve. The Bible said in Genesis 3:4-5, “And the serpent said unto the woman, you shall not surely die. For God doth know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Eve thought that this information from Satan was an insight into more information that would benefit her. She thought that getting the inside or “real truth” about someone or a matter is intriguing, and this definitely strengthens the listener to want to hear more of the so-called “truth”. The result of Satan’s manipulation to Eve is this: “And when the woman (Eve) saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat (Genesis 3:6).” The lie changed Eve’s eyes so she can see more. She now can see all those things that were never there before. This interaction with Satan – a liar, shows that there are greater dangers to the listeners of lies than to the person telling the lie.
Also when there are secrecies in the information, such as “don’t let them know what I told you”, or “please keep it confidential between you and me” is another sign of a lying objective. You can see these characteristics in everyday activities where lies are being told. For example, when there is a campaign for election to an office, or to win someone on your side of the debate, the candidates often use fear and protection tactics to win over the listeners to their side. This notion of showing the dangers in the other person, groups, or the thing by lying will take the same effective changes in the hearts of the listeners as what happened to Adam and Eve. The reverse is equally deceptive: that is to bar the listeners from hearing the truth; stopping them from hearing the other side of the stories by using all possible means, such as censorship, laws, or even death.
When the subject of the person being lied about is self by giving a false impression about them, the thoughts of the listeners and their watchful eyes are being deceived when the truth comes to light. Deceiving oneself is when a person says or portrays incorrect information about him or herself, pretending to be what they are not; the aim is to show other’s a perception of their “good” social image and status. The objectives of this behavior are to deceive others and promote their image – their brand. In the Bible, 2nd Corinthians 11:14 says, “But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light (NLT)”. Sometimes the liar hoped that the hidden lies would never be revealed, but the Bible says all hidden things will come to light (Mark 4:22).
The same effect of a disgusting change (to the liar) will happen to the listeners or observers if and when they find out that they were being deceived. The damaged person’s antennas will be up for many innocent people who may have the same approach of falsely promoting themselves in the future.
God’s techniques to counteract approaches to discords.
In Deuteronomy 19:15, the Bible said, “You must not convict anyone of a crime on the testimony of only one witness. The facts of the case must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses (NLT).” This helps to dispels lies if the witnesses are not involved in collaborating their stories. Also, Jesus gave another example to counteract lies when he said in Matthew 18:15, “If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense (directly to the other person). If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back.” When you hear a perceived lie, you should let the speaker know that you will do your investigation. If the speaker objected, then you know there is falsehood in the story.
When a piece of information sounds intriguing, the Bible said you must do your investigation – search the scriptures before believing the story (Acts 17:11), because you may damage your conscience by listening to a lie. As for secrecy, the Bible said everything will be opened in the end (Mark 4:22), so why hide things now. Lies hide, truth reveals! And when the art of fearmongering is used to display its ugly head, remember that the Bible said the fearful will be cast into hell fire (Revelation 21:8), so watch out for fearful tactics. For receiving enlightenment, God’s invited us to seek him first for all enlightenment and you will be fulfilled (Matthew 6:33). Do your study and investigations for more knowledge!
In conclusion, a believed lie damages the listener and sows multiple discords, alienation, and doubts, which not only affects the listeners negatively but harmfully impacts their associates also. In the end time, the authorities and the man of sin will use the same techniques to label the remnants of God as wicked people – lying about them, saying that we are the reasons why the bad economic situations and calamities are being caused by the remnants. The hearers will believe the lies and will be motivated to attack the remnants and destroy them. Be very careful how you entertain some conversation!