Lying and deception are part of everyday life. We all tell lies, whether they’re small white lies or more serious ones. But while some lies are harmless, others can be dangerous and have serious consequences. In this article, we’ll look at 7 types of lying and deception that can be dangerous and why it’s important to be aware of them. We’ll also explain how to spot them and what to do if you’re the victim of one of these deceptive tactics.
7 Dangerous Types of Lying And Deception
There are several types of lies in the world, perhaps disguised under other names, but after all, they are still lies, here are some of these:
1. Absolute falsehoods
These are “outright lies”: whoever tells them is well aware that they have done so. You may consider it a “big black lie” (one with serious consequences) or a “little white lie” (one that you think will have no serious consequences), but you know you’ve told a lie.
Many passages rebuke the general concept of lying. Proverbs 6: 16-19 – God hates a lying tongue and a false witness who speaks lies. Exodus 20:16 says that we should not give false testimonies against our neighbors. In Ephesians 4:25 we are also exhorted not to lie: ” Leaving aside the lie, let each of you speak with his neighbor.”
These are direct prohibitions against lying. Most people know that lying is morally wrong. Interestingly, people who constantly tell others lies (such as politicians) often get very angry when other people lie to them and are generally the quickest to accuse others of lying!
2. False promises
Some people make promises that they do not intend to keep or know they cannot keep. This is a way of deliberately misleading people. There are several verses on the bile where this is reflected:
- Genesis 29:18, 25: Many stories about Jacob involve deception. He negotiated with his uncle Laban to serve Rachel for seven years. Laban agreed, but at the wedding he gave Leah. Jacob said that Laban tricked or tricked him.
- Exodus 8: 28,29: Pharaoh deceived Moses by promising to let Israel go if the plagues were removed. When that was done, he did not keep his promise.
As humans, there may be circumstances beyond our control when we simply cannot fulfill a promise that we really intend to fulfill.
But when we knowingly make a promise that we never intend to keep, or when we can keep it but deliberately choose not to, that is deception. How many of us are guilty?
Oftentimes, people want to make a favorable impression on others, so they say good things that they don’t really mean or don’t really believe are true. This may sound nice, but it is a way of deliberately misleading others.
We can verify what the bible says about this kind of lies in Psalms 62: 4: they delight in lies; they bless with their mouth, but curse internally. When we don’t mean the good things we say, we are lying.
Psalms 78: 36,37: Yet they flattered him with their mouths and lied to him with their tongues. People here complimented God by professing that they would serve Him, but they were not really saying it in their hearts. This is both a form of flattery and a breach of promises. The passage says they lied.
This may remind us of politicians trying to get votes. They pretend to think highly of you, but they really want something from you. Sometimes we really have an unfavorable view of someone, but we don’t want to insult them, so it’s easy to say what we don’t mean.
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4. False doctrine
When religious teaching is presented as true even though the Bible cannot prove it, deception is always involved. In Genesis 3: 4: Satan told Eve that she would not die if she ate the forbidden fruit. However, God had said that he would die (2:17). After Eve sinned, she said that the serpent had deceived her (3:13).
The “false apostles” are called “deceptive workers” because they pretend to be servants of Christ, angels of light, and ministers of justice. Many teachers present themselves as men of God teaching their word, but they teach things that they cannot find in the Bible.
Keep in mind that false teaching is sinful for several reasons. But one reason is that it always involves deception. Many religious leaders are misleading because they claim that teaching is from God when they know they don’t have the proof.
Sometimes a teacher is sincerely wrong: he really believes that he is teaching the truth; in that case, you have been misled by someone else. All false teaching is ultimately a lie since everything originates with Satan, who is the father of lies.
A hypocrite is a deceiver because he pretends to be something he knows he is not. You try to give other people the impression that you are fairer than you really are. 1 Timothy 4: 2 says: Those who stray from the truth speak lies in hypocrisy. Know that your hypocrisy is associated with lying.
In 1 Peter 2: 1 we can find the following: put aside cunning (deception), hypocrisy, and bad speaking. Again, hypocrisy is associated with deception. Hypocrisy is deception because the hypocrite presents a false front.
Many people, even in the church, profess to serve God faithfully. But are we really doing what we know we should, or are we just fooling others and perhaps ourselves? Are we giving what we know God wants, or is it just a pretext?
Some think they are innocent as long as they say what is technically true, even though they intend to mislead others into believing what is not true. It is possible to say things that are technically true, yet we leave out the pertinent facts or otherwise speak so that others will believe the falsehoods.
- Genesis 37: 28,31-33: Joseph’s brothers sold him to the Midianites, dipped his coat in blood, took it to Jacob, and said, “We found this coat. Does it look like your son or not?” This was technically true, but they omitted the pertinent facts in order to lead Jacob to believe that a wild animal had killed Joseph.
- Exodus 32: 4,24 – When Moses confronted the golden calf, Aaron said he threw the gold and the calf came out. But he forgot to say that he had molded the calf with an engraving tool!
Most false teachings involve half-truths. What the teacher says may be technically true, but it omits essential facts or twists the truth to make people believe something different from what God intended.
One of the saddest forms of deception is self-deception. People who do not want to face reality can sometimes convince themselves to believe things that they really know are not true.
There are many, many passages that we can include in this Bible study on lying, in addition to the ones we have explained above. Several of these warn of self-deception, such as 1 Corinthians 3:18 and Galatians 6: 3.
Keep in mind that these people end up believing errors because they do not like the truth. They prefer teachers who “tickle their ears,” telling them what they want to hear. Then they may end up believing that they are acceptable to God, but they are delusional.
What specific problems lead us to tell lies?
The lie is given by many causes, here are some of the most common:
1. Selfishness or personal gain
Some lies are told for personal gain or pleasure. We seek to obtain some benefit that we believe we cannot achieve by telling the truth.
- 1 Kings 21: 1-16 – Ahab, king of Israel, wanted to buy a vineyard, but the owner Naboth was not selling. Jezebel, Ahab’s wife, proclaimed a feast in honor of Naboth (Vv. 9,10), then had two men testify that he had blasphemed, for which he was stoned to death.
- Proverbs 11: 1; Micah 6:11 – A false balance and deceptive weights are an abomination to God. These are ways to deceive people in business by lying.
Companies often tell lies to convince people to buy their products. Some companies require employees to lie.
When people sin or commit other acts that they want to hide from others, they often tell lies.
Genesis 37: 28,31-33 – This is what led Jacob’s sons to deceive him into thinking that a wild animal killed Joseph. They had sold him as a slave and did not want his father to find out.
A classic example of our time has been Pres. Clinton and the Lewinsky affair. But many other politicians and other famous people have lied to cover up their sins. Politicians are often known to practice many forms of evil, but lying under oath is the only one that seems to upset many people.
3. Pride and envy
People often tell lies because they want others to think they are better than they really are.
- Acts 5: 1-9 – Ananias and Sapphira’s lie was evidently motivated by pride. Other people were giving sacrificial gifts to the church, and they wanted people to think that they had made a greater sacrifice than they had.
- Matthew 6: 2, 5,16 – The Pharisees were hypocrites because they pretended to be devout religious in order to gain favor from the people.
- Like Ananias and Sapphira, some people deceive others about their possessions, wealth, or generosity to impress others.
- Some lie about how much education or what work experience they have to get a job.
- Many false teachers misrepresent their doctrine or their personal lives. They think that if they tell people the truth, they will not be able to get a following, so they must be hypocritical and deceive others. We hear from many who try to hide their immorality so that people will think highly of them.
4. Wrong “Love” / Kindness
Some people tell lies just to avoid causing trouble for others or even to avoid hurting their feelings.
Genesis 12: 11-13 – When Abraham moved to a foreign land, he told his wife Sarah to tell people that she was his sister, otherwise someone might kill him to take her as his wife.
- These kinds of lies are often justified in popular TV shows and movies. You don’t tell the truth if it hurts someone’s feelings or gets them in trouble.
- Young people often think that loyalty means they should lie to protect their friends.
- Family members often lie to cover for each other. They can complain and fight with each other, but they will cover for each other even by lying if necessary.
These are perverted concepts of love. Jesus said that love should lead us to obey God’s commandments; it is not an excuse to disobey them (John 14:16; 1 John 5: 3).
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Some people start lying for various reasons, but then it becomes a way of life. They lie even when it seems like it has no real purpose. Jeremiah 9: 4,5 confirms this: people could not trust anyone else because everyone would deceive their neighbor.
In Psalm 52: 2-4 it says: the deceitful tongue loves evil more than good, and lies instead of speaking justly. Some people just seem to enjoy fooling others. They are not just joking around with each other. They just enjoy seeing if they can fool people. (Psalms 50:19)
Lying is basically an attitude problem. People lie because they do not love the truth or love God as they should. The only solution is to change your heart and love God enough to obey him.
Consequences of lying and deception
Here are the reasons why you should avoid lying in your life:
1. Lying hurts other people
An example of this can be seen in the life of Jacob. Genesis 27 says: Jacob tricked Isaac into obtaining the blessing that Isaac intended to give Esau. Esau was so hurt and angry when he learned what Jacob had done that he threatened to kill him ( 34-38). As a result, Jacob had to flee his home, and Jacob and Esau have alienated for years afterward.
Many of us know families in which people have turned away from each other because of lies. One of the main lessons to be learned from Jacob’s family is the serious problems that deception can cause.
2. Lying leads others to sin
Liars often influence other people to tell lies. Lying tends to feed off of itself. The more people tell lies, the more people get involved, especially when influential people tell lies. False teachers also deceive other people and lead them to sin.
- Genesis 3:13 – The first sin occurred because the serpent “deceived” Eve.
- Isaiah 9: 14-16 – The prophets taught lies and led the people to err and be destroyed.
- Ezekiel 13:22 – The lies of false teachers not only strengthen the hands of the wicked but also sadden the righteous.
Many have been led into sin by the influence of people who lie and deceive. People who make mistakes are still responsible because they must verify what they are taught. But the false teacher is also responsible for the fact that his lies led people to sin.
3. Lying leads to loss of respect and trust.
There are some biblical statements about this:
- Psalm 40: 4 says: Those who love God do not respect those who turn away from lies. People want friends they can trust. If you want good people to respect and trust you, don’t lie.
- Jeremiah 9: 4,5 – People could not even trust their own brother because they would lie and cheat. A liar is not trustworthy. You never know when he’s lying.
Young people need to learn this lesson early. If you lie to your parents about where you are going or what you do, it ruins your relationship. Some complain, “Why don’t you trust me?” “I just told a lie.” That’s all it takes to destroy trust. After that, they never know when we are lying.
4. The lie turns away from God and condemns eternally
Biblical verses that affirm that the liar will be condemned :
- Psalms 5: 6: God will destroy those who speak falsehood. He hates the bloodthirsty and deceitful man. God is true and cannot lie (Titus 1: 2). When we lie, He cannot make us friends. We separate ourselves from Him.
- Revelation 21: 8 – All liars will have a part in the second death, the lake of fire.
- Revelation 21:27; 22: 14,15 – He who tells lies will by no means enter the holy city. But all those who love and lie will be out of town.
Lying is the common cold of spiritual illnesses. It is probably the most frequent sin committed by men, including Christians. As a result, many people consider it minor. They talk about “little white lies.” But no lie is small or white.
How to overcome lies and deception?
Consider some steps we can take to help avoid being guilty of lying or cheating.
- Love the truth and hate lies – you and I must develop a strong commitment to lying. Not only must you dislike lying, but you must also actively hate the practice of it. Continually reminding ourselves of the dire consequences of lying should motivate us to avoid and oppose it.
- Fill your heart with truth: To be truth speakers, we must fill our hearts with the truth, especially with the word of God.
- Stay away from untruths – don’t entertain yourself with untruths. Don’t consider repeating such things. Refuse to have anything to do with it.
- Avoid People and Influences Known to Lie or Cheat – We often end up telling lies because we associate with liars, listen to their lies, and learn to imitate their evil. If we want to keep the truth in our hearts and avoid falsehood, we must take care of what speech we hear.
The main idea of this Bible study on lying has been to make people understand that lying is truly an abomination to the Lord. He hates a lying tongue, hates deception, and knows all our actions and even what we think. In addition, lying is destructive, it can cause irreparable damage, and it makes other people lose trust in us.