Picture by David Moen on Unsplash
We live life with many assumptions. One of them is speaking truth and hearing truth. When we discover lies coming from our loved ones lips or actions, it is like a lightning strike. It hits our brain circuitry much like a lightning strike affects the whole electric system in the house. In the case of an electric strike, we can’t fully comprehend the extent of the damage until we pay an electrician to check it all out. Likewise, we would love to hire an investigator to determine the extent of personal damage due to lies and deception. Unfortunately, that is not possible. We then start questioning everything we have assumed. It makes us respond in fear and worry. We are sad and hurt. Something we take for granted and relied upon as one of the basic principles of relationship is now something we question. So what do we do? Do we test every word from their mouth? Do we try to figure out when lying began?
We would love for them to take a lie detector test for the past, present and future, but that’s not possible.
Looking back, we may have contributed to ease of lying at the beginning. We may have held a one sided conversation in which they said little. We assumed their silence was agreement with what we want to hear. They discover this is a successful way to respond.
We may have erred in completely trusting them because of the past. If it is a work situation, we assume they are doing the right thing after hours and are sacrificing their time away from us. In a social setting, we choose to believe the crowd they are with doesn’t have a detrimental effect on them. We believe in them.
Then the truth comes and slaps us in the face. We feel pressure to start testing the truth. And so we do with questions. Then anxiety mounts as we don’t trust the answers. Sometimes we may think it is better to not even ask the questions.
What do we do, especially in the context of a prodigal?
Our first option is to ask the Holy Spirit. Peter did this with his interaction with Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5. Peter instantly knew the lie that was spoken by them. This is a wonderful reality as we grow in the Holy Spirit. But what do we do in the meantime?
As I was reading First Chronicles 14, I noticed how David asked God for direction in a battle against the enemy. In the first instance, God told him to defeat them with the direct attack. Obedience brought success. In the second instance, God instructed them to circle around them and attack from behind. God gave them a signal (the sound of marching in the trees) as their sign for attack. David waited and obeyed God’s direction completely. Success came in a completely different manner.
As I reflected on this, I realized there is great wisdom to ask God for His strategy when lying invades relationships. We may be prompted to directly attack it like Peter. At other moments, God may direct us to wait. As we do so, we are waiting for God to do His work to bring truth and to reveal the lies. He may give us another question to ask. We may sense something is not right and it becomes clear as we wait. We are allowing our spiritual senses to be attuned to what God is doing. The key is to listen to God’s voice and ask His counsel.
So the next time we face what seems to be truth and yet we doubt it, ask God, “I sense in my spirit that something they are saying is not truthful. Father, You are the God of truth, what do You want me to know about this? Shall I go up against this directly or do You have another strategy?” Listen and follow his counsel.
James 1:5 says, “If any of you needs wisdom to know what you should do, you should ask God, and he will give it to you. God is generous to everyone and doesn't find fault with them.”(GODS WORD© Translation)
What are some other ways you have found success in dealing with a lying tongue?
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