“Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?”
Aha! That’s thought-provoking!
Definitely, a fresh water spring would be the source of fresh water and a salt water spring would give forth saline water. The same spring cannot be the source of both fresh water and salt water. Similarly, the tongue with which we have been blessed, is not meant to play a dual role – uttering truth and lies as per its convenience.
THE ROLE OF THE TONGUE
The tongue is a muscular organ in the mouth which has three primary functions: tasting food, swallowing food and articulating speech. Speech is a unique blessing bestowed on human beings. Animals, birds and insects can produce different sounds but none can speak. The human tongue is a wonderful creation that aids in producing speech. When we speak, we reveal our thoughts and emotions, we express our likes and dislikes, we vent our hurts and pains, we convey our desires and inhibitions, we request, we demand, we plead and so on. What we speak and how we speak enable others to form impressions about us.
TRUTH vs. LYING
Truth refers to expressing facts as they really are. No dilution.
Lying simply means ‘to make a false statement’. Lying is always intentional.
WHY DO PEOPLE LIE?
- Out of fear – Most people who lie do so out of fear. For example: a child, who has got poor marks in the examination, tells her mother that her teacher has misplaced her answer sheet and hence she is unable to know her marks. The child lies because of the fear of punishment or because of the fear of losing her mother’s approval. By lying, the child temporarily avoids the consequences of telling the truth. So, lies are good defensive weapons.
- To impress – Several people use their lies to charm others. Let’s consider the case of a young man who is out to woo the lady of his dreams. After knowing the likes and dislikes of the lady, he decides that she would never accept him as he is. And so, he goes on a lying spree – about his accomplishments, his background, and his ventures and so on. This example is not just one of a kind. People lie to impress their friends, their bosses, their spouses and even their children.
‘White lies’ are those lies that do not harm others. They spare the feelings of others while accomplishing the task at hand. Hence, they are argued to be acceptable. To give an example, telling a friend that I loved the dress she gifted me, when I actually didn’t, is a white lie. Most of us are guilty of ‘white lies’ occasionally. However, anything other than the truth is always a lie. No matter how minor and how harmless it may seem, it is a lie.
CONSEQUENCES OF HABITUAL LYING
- When we lie consistently, we become habitual liars. Our brain becomes wired in such a way that for almost every occasion, it signals a concoction to the speech centre. Hence, something that started small becomes a part of our nature. It soon gets converted to pathological lying. Pathological lying is a mental illness. Psychopaths, people with antisocial personality disorder, histrionics, narcissists all show symptoms of habitual lying.
- Habitual liars are never able to win the trust of others. Their lies may hold them up for some time, however eventually the castle built in mid-air crumbles down and they are left nowhere. They are failures in their friendships, relationships and workplaces. Often, they end up fighting bitter legal battles piling one lie on top of another.
- Lying makes people emotionally dead. Not only do they become insensitive to the feelings and emotions of others, but also their own emotional selves wither away gradually. They lose their peace of mind and live a fake life before the world. The reputation they aim to earn because of their lies, actually earns them great disrepute.
- Lying incurs the wrath of God. God is truth. Hence, He cannot tolerate lies. A lying tongue is detestable in the eyes of God.
THE CURE TO LYING
Till date, no tonic has been discovered that can cure a lying tongue.
“Out of the fullness of the heart, the mouth speaketh” – said a great man. The cure to a lying tongue is a truthful heart. If the heart is true, there would be no fear of facing the consequences of a truthful tongue. If the heart is honest, there would be no fear of rejection. If the heart is humble, there would be no shame in accepting the opinions of others.
Let truthful words emerge out of our mouths always. May our tongues be truthful, thereby reflecting the glory of our Creator at all times.
Author’s Bio: Rajnandini Sahu has done her Post Graduation in Clinical and Counselling Psychology and is presently working as a Counsellor in a school, apart from pursuing higher studies. She can be contacted at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org‘.