Monday, April 8, 2013

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!

What do you do when you KNOW you've been lied to?  

Recently I was told something that I know is at best a stretch of the truth. Frankly, it's a bold face lie! Now I'm left in quite the position, do I proceed with this person as though they are a liar, and not to be trusted? OR, do I chalk it up to a momentary indiscretion, and let it go. For me, the latter is the harder of the two. I naturally lean toward the "don't trust that person" thing. This puts me in a bit of a quandary, because what was done in my presence, is not unlike anything I've ever done. It's not my common practice, but if I'm honest, I've been here long enough to have told some little white lies, some big black ones, and all shades in between. I couldn't be less proud of this behavior. It's a large part of the reason why in my adult life, I strive for total honesty. Total honesty is not as easy as it sounds. I've noticed that what constituted dishonesty for me has changed over the years. For example, the extent to which I alter my behavior to make it more palatable for a given crowd, could be a lie.  The best example of this came early in my marriage. If Ken an I had a fight on the way to church (seems like back then most arguments occurred on the way to church) I'd go in church, and act as though all things were fine. It's not that I needed to blab to the world about fighting with my spouse (much like I'm doing now) but I didn't need the pretense either. For me, that was a lie in action. Today, I'm less likely to play the pretend game. My point is, not all lies are communicated verbally. 
For the longest time I thought that, because I didn't articulate a lie, I was an honest person. It was years before I realize that some of the most incredible whoopers ever told were/are never verbalized. Ouch! 
If I'm not careful, I can still lie via action, especially in social settings. Perhaps I'll laugh at joke that isn't so funny. Or maybe, I'll laugh a little longer to give credence to humor in a situation that's barely funny. It's hard not to laugh, when you can tell someone is trying. Besides, it's socially acceptable to reward them with the gesture. Yet I know, this kind of attitude/thinking is based in dishonesty. Sure, it might sound as though I've gone to far with this, but would you want to be the person telling the joke, thinking you're funny, because everyone is laughing, only to find out it was more sympathy laughter, and you are so not funny. You are straight up corny! Wouldn't it be more gracious not to laugh, and let the person figure out, they're not funny? That way, at least they can stop embarrassing themselves. This is a silly example of lying via action. There can be other, deeper, and more harmful ways we do this.  In my life I know it to be true. As much as it bothers me that someone would dare lie to my face, I know that I must extend them grace. I've been guilty of the same, even if not in so many words. 

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