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3 Kinds of Liars

Dishonesty is a true sign that a relationship is not working. No one is perfect and it’s dishonest to present yourself as perfect to your partner. We all have a past and we all have current struggles and temptations and we must be open with your spouse if we will ever build trust. Dishonesty from her husband will destroy any sense of security a woman may feel. The Bible says this in Proverbs 11:3, “The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.” Contrariwise, a virtuous wife will live in such a way that her husband has complete trust in her. Proverbs 31:11 says, “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her.” So don’t be a liar! Nothing is worse than a liar. Proverbs 19:22 A poor man is better than a liar.

The following list was taken from Willard Harley’s book His Needs Her Needs and has been adapted for this post.

The Born Liar
The born just can’t seem to help himself. He has a proclivity toward dishonesty. Have you ever known someone like this? They lie about everything, even things that don’t matter. I once had a roommate like this. It was just standard operating procedure to lie about his classes, friends, dinner plans, family, hobbies, etc. This kind of liar is often so convincing that they even convince themselves of their own lies. These dear souls get to the point where they cannot even identify the truth. If you find yourself in this category you need to seek help immediately. First, pray and confess your dishonesty as sin (I John 1:9). Second, seek competent counseling from a pastor, spiritual mentor or some other professional. If you don’t get ahold of this problem it will eventually push every person away from you. You will be alone.

The Avoid-Trouble Liar
Though not as dangerous as the Born Liar, the Avoid-Trouble Liar is still damaging his relationships. They say that honesty is the best policy but the Avoid-Trouble Liar does not believe this old adage. They believe that staying out of trouble is the best policy. Here’s the facts, everyone makes mistakes. Everyone finds themselves in troublesome situations. A person of integrity will be honest even when it is uncomfortable to be so. Here are a few seemingly harmless situations that this person will face and fail: “Honey, did you make the dinner reservations?” He has not but will say yes, knowing that he can easily slip into the other room and make the call. “Are you on your way home?” She is not but she plans to leave in the next few minutes so she will lie and give the impression that she is moments away. Later, she will have to back up this lie with another lie about traffic or someone stopping her to talk. These are harmless lies… right? THEY ARE NOT! Each and every time a person is caught in a “little white lie” they damage their integrity. Others begin to view them as less than trustworthy and they begin to view themselves as a dishonest person. Be honest, even when your honesty has the potential of bringing trouble.

The Protector Liar
This liar actually believes they are doing the right thing. They lie because they don’t want to hurt anyone. They are killing with kindness. A woman will be concerned about the family finances and ask her husband if everything is ok. He responds in the affirmative. He lies about the credit card debt, bouncing checks and calling creditors because he desires to “protect” his wife from the truth. A preacher will ask his wife how the sermon went. She will lie. Though everyone in the congregation was asleep, the few who were awake were offended and the Scripture was twisted to fit his unscriptural premise, she will lie and tell him it was wonderful. She wants to protect him… from the truth. Under this category we find the infamous enabler and the codependent spouses. The enabler will lie about the obvious addiction that they see in the life of their loved one. They will ignore the self-medicating, drug use, alcohol abuse, destructive habits, and overeating and allow the loved one to destroy their body while protecting their emotional state. They incorrectly believe they are helping their spouse by lying to them about their problems.

What are your thoughts? Do you believe that I am being too strict? Would you phrase these truths in a different way? Have you ever experienced these kinds of lies or liars?

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19 Comments

  • Reply
    Jamee
    June 4, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Really like this one. My mom always told me that once you get caught in a lie people will think everything you say is also a lie. I have found this to be some what true I had some one lie to me and I struggle with doubting everything they say now. I am trying to have an open mind tho I am a work in progress LOL

    • Reply
      Jennifer Beeson
      June 4, 2013 at 11:15 am

      Rebuilding trust is something I struggle with too!

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      June 4, 2013 at 4:24 pm

      Your mom was a wise woman! Great thought.

  • Reply
    Jennifer Beeson
    June 4, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Wow… another great post. We have been working on teaching our children right now what a lie is and that we need to tell the truth. So now I have caught my son omitting the truth when I ask him something. In his 4 year old head he thinks that if he doesn’t say anything at all, its not a lie. I know some adults like this too. It is very hurtful and also make one not trust the person who omitting. I’m my opinion (correct me I’m wrong) omission is a lie. What category would that fall under?

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      June 4, 2013 at 4:38 pm

      Teaching honesty to a child is the foundation of lifelong commitment to the truth. IF we teach our young that dishonesty is acceptable then we are setting them up for a major fall when they are older. I do agree with you that omission can be considered a form of dishonesty but there is something to be said for “not speaking.”

      Discretion must be taught to our children. That is… there are truths to say that may not need to be said. We don’t have to say everything that comes into our minds and share every opinion as if it were truth. Discretion is knowing what to say and when to say it. – Proverbs 11:22, Proverbs 19:11

      So, omission can sometimes be wise. What do you think?

      • Reply
        Jaclyn
        June 4, 2013 at 6:45 pm

        Teaching a 4 year old to tell all things at all times to Mommy and Daddy is a perfect lesson that is greatly needed. They need to know that it is right and comfortable to communicate about all things to their parents. Great job planting that seed.
        As for discretion, I strongly believe this is a much needed lesson as well. Truth ought to expected but it ought to be expressed with Love and with Timing and to the right Ears. Not all truth needs to be shared to all people. This lesson should be built upon the Tell the Truth foundation.
        This is my opinion…. and it’s a good one… 🙂

        • Reply
          Jennifer
          June 5, 2013 at 12:17 am

          I couldn’t have said it better! I agree with Jaclyn! Discretion needs to be built upon the Tell the Truth foundation. And yes, there are definitely times when people don’t need to hear the whole truth… especially when it is said out of anger and a spirit of wanting to hurt others. Speak the truth in love. I often think of something I learned at Ironwood while I was a counselor when it comes to discretion and omission before I speak (not that I’m perfect or make the right choice all the time. My mouth often gets me into trouble and I’ve been very convicted about it.) …
          1. Is it Biblical?
          2. Is it selfish?
          3. Will it cause others to sin?
          4. Will it glorify God?
          5. Is it helpful?
          I think if you ask those before you speak, it will weed out if you are omitting as a lie or if it’s using discretion.

  • Reply
    Carol Hopkins
    June 4, 2013 at 11:43 am

    I have always been a student of human reactions to the situations their lives bring them. One of the most damaging lies they allow themselves to believe that for whatever reason, they have a pass on the truth “this time”. A number of people I meet have built their lives on the lies they wish were true about their education, philosophy, and their life’ actual experiences. They paint a picture of what they want others to think about them rather than just being the person at this life stage – beloved of Christ, and well deserving of both Himself and others. What a shame that in spinning their “story” they forget both their actual worth and that the real goal is to grow in God, not in self glorification. It is ok and really wonderful to just be The Beloved Child of Our Lord.

    • Reply
      Anonymous
      June 4, 2013 at 2:22 pm

      Great post,I have had a relationship where the person lies over and over and then they don’t understand why I have a hard time believing them how do you get that trust back when you keep catching them in lies?

      • Reply
        Joshua Teis
        June 4, 2013 at 4:44 pm

        It’s impossible to completely trust a compulsive liar. The best you can hope for is to love them and focus on their good qualities. However, you will never be able to trust them. They haven’t really earned it.

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      June 4, 2013 at 4:41 pm

      It is true that at times we can have so much shame over past mistakes that we are untruthful about our past. I am thankful that the Lord has put the past behind us and those who have been redeemed can focus on the future.

      Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

      Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      June 4, 2013 at 4:42 pm

      It is true that at times we can have so much shame over past mistakes that we are untruthful about our past. I am thankful that the Lord has put the past behind us and those who have been redeemed can focus on the future.

      Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

      Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

  • Reply
    Kim
    June 4, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Thank you Pastor Josh!!. Lying is my BIGGEST pet peeve. I have lost 2 marriages to it and now I am experiencing it in my step children. They fit the description of the “born ” kind. I find it so difficult to believe anything they say and I agree with the other gal; omission is just as bad. Folks with these traits are hard to trust and very foolishly obvious. I really don’t know a way to teach them NOT to lie about everything but it is really hard to watch unfold.

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      June 4, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      This is true. Sadly, this is one of the things that destroy relationships. Thanks for you comment Kim.

  • Reply
    Ted Nichols
    June 4, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    I remember these points from your two part sermon on I want a new marriage. The loss of trust from lying sometimes is never fully repaired. There seems to be a epidemic of lying in the world today.

  • Reply
    Linette Winsler
    June 4, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Most people don’t realize that lies eventually catch up with you. This is a good reminder of why one shouldn’t lie

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