The Cost of Lies, Deceit and Keeping Secrets
October 3, 2002 • By Ed Wrather
You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another. - Leviticus 19:11.
I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust. This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men. - Acts 24:16.
Maybe the biggest political liar of all time was elected in 1994 to the Court of Criminal Appeals in Texas. After his election Steve Mansfield actually admitted to several lies and exaggerations. He claimed to have vast experience in criminal law but actually his experience was in insurance and tax law. He claimed to have been born in Texas, but he was actually born in Massachusetts. As a way of gaining sympathy, he claimed to have been dating a woman who died but actually she was still alive at the time of the election. He also claimed to have lived in Houston when he was a child but when confronted about this during an interview admitted that was a lie.
Lies and deceit according to Mansfield are only “puffery” and “exaggerations.” But after his election to the highest criminal court in Texas, Mansfield said he would stop his pufferies and exaggerations. Judge Mansfield chose not to seek re-election in 2000 after he was arrested trying to scalp University of Texas football tickets in 1998 on the university campus. Mansfield received a deferred adjudication with a one-year probation for criminal trespass and was reprimanded by the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct.
There is whole lot of lying, cheating, and deceiving going on in the United States. According to a survey of 40,000 adults 9 out of 10 admitted that they lie on a habitual basis. This includes the 93 percent who lie at work and the 35 percent that cheat on their husbands or wives (Sometimes both the husband and wife are having extramarital affairs.). Additional research indicates that one out of every five marriages is hampered by an extramarital affair.
Do people who lie, cheat, deceive, have secret affairs get away without any consequences? It may appear to be that way at times but there are consequences. Besides the obvious pain when secrets are finally revealed there are adverse health consequences. Studies have revealed that those who are keeping secrets (Secrets are kept through lying, cheating, and deceiving.) have more problems than others with anxiety, depression, headaches, and back pain. Research also indicates that the more effort is expended in keeping those secrets the more adverse the health consequences. (Information regarding studies and research from article by Bob Condor published in Daily Oklahoma October 1, 2002.)
Before I was a Christian and for several years after I became a Christian, I had a serious problem with lying. I would often lie to avoid confrontations with Jeanie (my wife) and to make myself look better in the eyes of other people. God used Jeanie in a powerful way to help me understand that it was always better in the long run to tell the truth. Telling the truth often hurts but to hide the truth and for it to be revealed later is much more painful. Even if the truth is never revealed hiding the truth still hurts you. We should be like the apostle and strive always to keep our conscience clear before God and man. Isn’t that a much better way to live?