"For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth." ~ Deuteronomy14:2

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

How to Confront a Liar, What the World Says, What Biblical Solutions Say

Is your husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend a compulsive or pathological liar?
To begin with, it may help to understand the difference between pathological and compulsive lying (see, types of liars). Ultimately, making this type of distinction may not be that useful. Because in either case, the outcome is typically the same: dealing with a compulsive or pathological liar is very difficult to do.
A compulsive liar will resort to telling lies, regardless of the situation. Again, everyone lies from time to time (see, when lovers lie), but for a compulsive liar, telling lies is routine. It becomes a habit - a way of life. Simply put, for a compulsive liar, lying becomes second nature.
Not only do compulsive liars bend the truth about issues large and small, they take comfort in it. Lying feels right to a compulsive liar. Telling the truth, on the other hand, is difficult and uncomfortable. And like any behavior which provides comfort and an escape from discomfort (i.e., alcohol, drugs, sex), lying can become addictive and hard to stop. For the compulsive liar, lying feels safe and this fuels the desire to lie even more.
Making matters even more complicated, compulsive lying is often a symptom of a much larger personality disorder, which only makes the problem more difficult to resolve (see, narcissistic personality disorder and borderline personality disorder).
Unfortunately, compulsive lying is hard for the person involved to see, but it hurts those who are around it. Compulsive lying, if not addressed, can easily ruin a relationship (for example, see why does he need to lie). Compulsive lying can be dealt with through counseling or therapy. But, like any addictive behavior (and/or personality disorder), getting someone to admit they have a problem with lying is the difficult part. Sadly enough, getting someone to recognize that he or she has a problem usually requires hitting rock bottom first.
To confront a liar requires courage and nerve but lying is best dealt with firmness for the ultimate good of the liar.
People lie for a number of reasons; the most common reason being fear. When someone wants to escape responsibility for their actions or they know that they have done something wrong, the easiest way out is to lie. To lie is morally wrong as well as being unfair to the person being lied to. If you know that a person is lying or that they are in the habit of lying, there are several ways of dealing with them. Some of them are enumerated below.
A few suggestions
1.The correct way of dealing with a liar is to confront him/ her with it. Liars generally get caught with their lies if you persist long enough in digging up the roots of the lie. 2.The best way to counteract a lie is to tell the truth. Lies generally cannot stand up to truth and if you stick to your truth the liar will be forced to retract his/ her lie sometime. 3.Deal with the liar firmly and resolutely. Keep your voice down and don’t use severe words. Flying off the handle and losing your temper certainly won’t strengthen your case. 4.Ask someone else to intervene, preferably an elder who can take an unbiased view of the whole matter. Older people can generally spot a liar and would support you and your truth. 5.If it is a child that has lied, deal with it in a gentle manner because a child does not always know the difference between right and wrong and takes the shortest way out of a situation.
•Speak the truth and hang on to it despite everything, you will eventually come out tops.
•Don’t get angry at the liar. If the liar is a compulsive liar or it is a child then they will resort to lying even more to escape a scathing tongue. •Don’t lie yourself, to supplant the lie of the liar. It is the worst retaliation you could think of, something along the lines of cutting off your nose to spite your face.
1. A survey of 29,760 students in USA high schools revealed the following about stealing... a. 30% admitted stealing from a store within the past year b. 23% said they stole something from a parent or relative c. 20% confessed they stole something from a friend -- Josephson Institute's 2008 Report Card on the Ethics of American Youth
2. In the same survey addressed the subject of lying... a. 42% said they sometimes lie to save money b. 83% confessed they lied to a parent about something significant -- ibid.
3. Again, the survey revealed the following about cheating... a. 64% cheated on a test during the past year b. 38% cheated two or more times -- ibid.
4. Amazingly, these same students have a high self-image when it comes to ethics... a. 93% said they were satisfied with their personal ethics and character b. 77% said that when it comes to doing what is right, they are better than most people they know -- ibid. [Such dishonesty is a problem confronting our society, and certainly not just young people (e.g., elected officials, employers and employees, etc.) and likely affects many Christians as well. So let's consider...]
A. IN GENERAL... 1. Condemned by God's Word a. In the Law of Moses - Lev 19:11; Pr 6:17-19; 11:1; 12:22 b. Liars will have their place in the lake of fire - Re 21:8 2. Common wisdom tells us that "honesty is the best policy" a. False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil - Socrates b. The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousand fold - Aristotle c. Honesty is the first chapter of the book of wisdom - Thomas Jefferson d. No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar - Abraham Lincoln B. IN PARTICULAR... 1. Destroys reputations a. Once you are caught lying, stealing, or cheating, you will rarely be trusted again b. Even if you do it for someone, with someone - you prove yourself untrustworthy c. With lies you may get ahead in the world, but you can never go back - Russian Proverb 2. Demolishes families, friendships a. Relationships depend on trusting one another b. If you marry a man who cheats on his wife, you'll be married to a man who cheats on his wife - Ann Landers c. Even if we lie for one another, we are undermining that trust d. Who lies for you will lie against you - Bosnian Proverb 3. Disrupts workplaces a. Some believe that lying, cheating, stealing is necessary to conduct business b. If I am willing to lie for you, how do you know I won't lie to you (the same for cheating and stealing)? c. Once a company implements a policy of dishonesty to customers, employees will employ it against employers whenever convenient [The problem of dishonesty in the form of lying, cheating, and stealing is really self-evident. Only those blinded by pride and greed can deny the harmful effects of dishonesty. In God's Word we find...]
1. We are to "put on the new man...in true holiness and righteousness" - Ep 4:24 2. Which involves "putting away lying" - Ep 4:25; cf. Col 3:9 3. Which includes no longer stealing, pilfering, etc. - Ep 4:28; Tit 2:10
1. "let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor" - Ep 4:25 2. "let your 'yes' be 'yes,' and your 'no,' 'no,'..." - Mt 5:37
1. One does not lie, steal, or cheat those they love 2. We are to love one another - Ro 13:8 3. We are to love our enemies - Mt 5:44-45
1. Both for ourselves and for all - 1Th 5:15 2. Whatever we want others to do to us - Mt 7:12
1. How much better, more pleasant, would life be... a. If everyone lived honest lives b. Not lying, stealing, and cheating c. Following the principles taught by Jesus and His apostles 2. Indeed, the same could be said concerning all the moral issues we have examined... a. The truth for moral issues is in Jesus - Ep 4:21 b. For Jesus is the light of the world - Jn 8:12 b. Those who walk as children of light bear the fruit of goodness, righteousness, truth - Ep 5:8-9 Follow Jesus, and we will have the light of life and truth, guiding us through the maze of moral issues that confront us daily...!

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