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Why Do Some People Lie All The Time?

Updated on November 9, 2012

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive!”


Liar-Liar, Pants On Fire

The truth is a beautiful thing. It stands proud and unconcerned, welcoming scrutiny. It is crystal clear and a life of truth promotes a healthy mind, body and spirit. We are by nature drawn to truth and respect it. As small children, we believe every word spoken is true. That is why children are so easily deceived. As we grow and gain experience, we are exposed to lies and that causes us to wonder if what is being said is really true, a “barefaced” lie or skewered in some manner.

This is a time when innocence must come to terms with a worldly outlook and we begin to understand there are many layers to life and to our loved ones. It is most difficult to reconcile lies and sincerity in the people we are around in our home, social life and work environment. When we look upon them in their many personas, it must be determined which is the real personality-the liar or the one whom we see most of the time.

Homes, families, companies, even governments have been destroyed by lies and liars. Of course the lie is always uncovered and the relationship is damaged. Betrayal is painful and it takes long hard work to rebuild trust. A person’s character is built on the words he or she speaks. Once duplicity is ousted, the liar must spend the remainder of his life repairing and regaining relationships. America has had presidents who lied on international television. Several never were able to regain status and acceptance. And many began to doubt the works and entire life accomplishments of these men. Everything they said or did from the moment the untruths were discovered became suspect. Some liars who are exposed try to dissemble and interpret the truth to match his or her version of it. Few people accept it though and most lose even more respect for the prevaricator who tries to minimize the lies.

Exactly what is a lie? All untruth is a lie, there is no big or small; white or black. It is all deceit and none of it is pretty. When a person lies, his words and actions no longer hold honor. It is heartbreaking to discover a loved one is a liar. Some are habitual liars and it becomes a way of life. I have known people who lie about the most mundane things and am always shocked and confused as to why. There is an old saying “I know he/she is lying because their mouth is moving.” How very sad to become a person who is perceived like that. Looking into the face of a loved one while knowing they are telling a lie causes great pain. Lack of trust in a person creates a chasm that is often without a bridge long enough to ever reconcile.

Why do people lie? Most people lie because they think it is easier than telling the truth and will keep them out of trouble. It is self serving and self centered. The habitual liar is a sociopath who cares more about himself than the impact on anyone else. This creates a whole other reason. Preservation of self is important for all of us. We care what others think of our character. The liar just tries to present us with a character of his own choosing. There is nothing authentic about him and he usually loses sight of himself and becomes a prisoner of his own creation. This causes me to remember the old saying by Sir Walter Scott, “Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive!” People will often lie to reinforce their position or even the first lie. Then one builds onto another until a foundation is built and cannot be removed without destroying the builder with it.

Some lies are of exaggeration, to impress or improve another’s perception of the speaker. A sports score may be embellished or a lie told to obtain favor through flattery. A man may lie to get a date or a woman to get gifts from an admirer.

By this time, everyone around the prefabricator is disillusioned and ready for relief. Years of pressure created by loving and living with this type of person causes love to shift into disdain and respect becomes weariness. When the house comes tumbling down, it is a lonely and terrifying release for all involved.

The Creator of truth, God, hates lies and cannot tolerate them. He classifies liars with the kind of people that we humans consider the dregs of society. His Word, the Holy Bible states that:

· Proverb 6:17- 16 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue….

· Revelation 21: 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

· 1 Timothy 1: 8-11- 8 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

· Exodus 20:16- “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

· Proverb 25:18- Telling lies about others
is as harmful as hitting them with an ax,
wounding them with a sword,
or shooting them with a sharp arrow.

Many more Scriptures caution and command us against lying. For the sake of oneself, loved ones and future spiritual existence with God, I implore you to live a truthful life full of integrity and character. You will be happier and so will everyone around you.

I know she is lying because her mouth is moving!

I remember hearing this long ago and know people who are this way. How very sad.


All photographs and text on this site are protected under United States and international copyright laws-© Brenda Barnes.


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