Life Unexpected. Immorality Accepted. True Love Rejected. – Part 3
In this blog, I will be discussing lying and bearing witness to the truth…
Right from start to finish, Life Unexpected is filled with lies and deceit; Cate lying to Ryan about using oral contraceptives; Lux lying to Cate about her various relationships. This list goes on and on throughout the show. In every episode, someone lies outright or by omission.
Every time this happened, it would hurt my heart. This is not just because of what I knew would happen as a result of the lie committed (that someone was going to get hurt – the truth always comes out!), but because I know that this happens all the time around me. Although I do not see the ins and outs of the lives of other people, I know that there has been a lie that has been said at one point or another that has caused hurt, destroyed relationships, or sent people into confusion about what the truth really is.
I can say from personal experience that I grew up in a family life filled with lies and deceit. Unfortunately, through my family life, I learned to lie, mostly out of fear. This was a fear of what would happen if the truth was told. As Christians, we have no need to fear the truth!
What really made this change for me was seeing how much my own lying affected others in my life.
Now, most of us may be pretty familiar with the eighth commandment, but lets review. I will pull this right from the Scriptures:
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” (Ex 20:16)
Jesus also testifies to this when he says:
“It was said to the men of old, “Your shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what your have sworn.” (Mt. 5:33)
Seems pretty straightforward, right? I would hazard to say no.
We may know very well what we have been commanded, ie. not to lie, however what does this really mean for us?
To crack this open, let’s take a moment here to see what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says about lying:
2464 The eighth commandment forbids misrepresenting the truth in our relations with others. This moral prescription flows from the vocation of the holy people to bear witness to their God who is the truth and wills the truth. Offenses against the truth express by word or deed a refusal to commit oneself to moral uprightness: they are fundamental infidelities to God and, in this sense, they undermine the foundations of the covenant.
So, basically, because God is Truth, and we are the people of God, it is our vocation to bear witness to the truth in our words and actions. We have no need to swear by something to be truthful, and be truthful because of what we have sworn on. We should just be truthful in our yes and no, unto the Lord. I would like to make note here that this does not just include outright lying, but also acts of omission (“Something omitted or neglected” – http://www.thefreedictionary.com). The knowledge that the act of omission is considered a misrepresentation of the truth (as one may feel that they are not really misrepresenting anything because they are not giving all the details or are not mentioning it altogether), I feel, is something that can be very easily missed and forgotten. We all really need to (myself included!!) keep this at the forefront of our minds.
I would like to close with an excerpt from the Biblical commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, Fire of Mercy, Heart of the Word by Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis:
… a radical simplicity of speech is required by the Christian: … yes is yes and no is no, and the rest is suspicious temporizing. For the Christian, his own presence, demeanor, and word ought to be their own warrant. Either the truthfulness of a word or action is manifest in the word or action itself, or it is not. Christ would have his followers “lay their own persons on the line” rather than bring in extraneous proofs and witnesses. As in his own case, the tight unity between our words and our deeds is to be the sole warrant of authenticity. The very foundation of Christian martyrdom is to give witness with our body, our words, and our life to the redemptive truths that our Lord has wrought in us.
To encourage you all to be witnesses to the truth, take a listen to the song below.
To be continued . . .