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 (Ex 20:16)”, is more concerned for the other person hearing the lie than the person telling the lies, because lies believed changed something in the hearts of the persons hearing the lie. It breaks trust and sows discords. 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 the purpose of deception. Lies are used to serving a variety of instrumental, interpersonal, or psychological functions for the individuals who use them to manipulate the listeners, and are more dangerous to the listeners. A negative change takes place in the listeners who believed the lies.
• Doubts are the avenues to distrust and alienation resulting in dis-fellowship.
The end results of a believed lie lead to doubts. These changes in the listeners carry a series of prolonged actions against the person, persons, or things. Most often these actions lead to dis-fellowship, alienation, and even reactive behaviors. This is what the evil one aims to accomplish! They want to see this happen to the listeners, thereby fulfilling their goals.
• Identifiable techniques for sowing discords.
The techniques are identifiable in the initial phase of the lie; normally it has these characteristics: intriguing, secrecy, sense of protection against fear, and enlightenment. For example, Satan wanted to enlighten Eve when he carefully told a lie about how God is holding back the truth from Eve. 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 was an insight into more information. Getting the inside or “real truth” about someone or a matter is intriguing and strengthens the listener to want to hear the so-called “truth”. The end result of Satan’s manipulation to the hearer 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).” This 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.
When there is a campaign for election, or to win someone on your side, the candidates often use fear and protection to win over the listeners to their side. This notion of showing the dangers in another person or thing by lying will take the same effective changes in the hearts of the listeners. The reverse is equally deceptive: that is to bar the listeners from hearing the truth.
• Deceiving self
When the subject of the person being lied about is self, the listeners and watchful eyes are being deceived when the truth comes to light. Deceiving self 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 our “good” social image and status. The objectives are to deceive others. 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. Their antennas will be up for many innocent people who may have the same approach in the future.
• God’s techniques to counter 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. Also, Jesus told us 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 a piece of information sounds intriguing, the Bible said you must do your own investigation – search the scriptures before believing (Acts 17:11), because you may damage your conscience. As for secrecy, everything will be opened (Mark 4:22), so why hide things now. Lies hide, truth reveals! And when the art of fear monger displays its ugly head, remember that the Bible said the fearful will be cast into hell fire (Revelation 21:8). For enlightenment, God’s invited us to seek him first for all enlightenment and you will be fulfilled (Matthew 6:33).
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.