A Lie Has Speed But Truth Has Endurance Part 2
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When The Lies Are About You
In Part 1 of “A Lie Has Speed But Truth Has Endurance”, the focus was mainly on the lies we tell (and believe) about ourselves. This idea of the speediness of lies is also true when it comes to the lies that other people tell (and believe) about us and it is probably true that every single one of us has experienced this at some point in our lives. For some, the lies talked about you may be a distant memory, possibly a grade school caper where one of the kids on the playground told everyone you never took showers or that your name brand shoes were actually knock-offs. It is hard to forget those feelings. The stuff the other kid said wasn’t true, they used the power of influence and negativity to change other’s view of you, and you weren’t even there to defend yourself.
Lies About You In An Adult World
Some people manage to make it through adulthood and avoid this type of incident, or perhaps you remain unaware of the times “little” lies have been told about you here and there. However, for some, the lies are HUGE, they create a massive burden, or even alter the course of your life. The sheer speed at which the lies travel, give them overwhelming power, make them compelling, and often more interesting than the truth. Lies can be impossible to stop or to make right, like trying to gather the wind. The effects of a lie on a person’s life can be catastrophic.
There is no way we can possibly cover every aspect of a scenario that includes one person spreading lies about another. We never know both perspectives or experiences, we can’t fully understand the motives or whether or not the person telling lies actually believes them to be the truth. So, for many reasons there has to be a resignation to the saying, “Remember, there are always two sides to every story. Understanding is a three edged sword. Your side, their side and the truth in the middle.” What we can establish is that when someone lies about you or misrepresents you in some way, everything inside of you is screaming to immediately fix a lie with the truth. What’s worse, we usually don’t have that opportunity. So, I want you to hear this and read it twice if you need to.
The tension that is created in your life by lies and negativity is NEVER EVER as strong as the momentum, power, and longevity of the truth.
Do you ever envy the people who seem to stay calm when lies are told about them? They sit back, relax and just say, “Oh, the truth will come out eventually.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel like I have that kind of time when the things people believe about me are messing up my life. I’m talking about the kind of stuff that ruins friendships and business connections. The kind of lies that compel you to leave your church, change jobs, or even move to a new town. I have a friend whose life was almost literally wrecked by the damage their former spouse did to them through slow, methodical, long-term lies about their character and actions. It eventually became an embarrassment to participate in things with their church, friend groups, and even negatively affected business in some significant ways. This was not only directly due to the lies, but also the mental and emotional toll it was taking over a long period of time.
What Action Steps Can You Take?
As much as you may feel you need to skip town to get a fresh start (and most people can’t do that anyway), it is often true that there’s freedom found in suspending this type of relationship. Perhaps it is with a family member, a boss, or a long-term friend. The struggle to break the bondage of these relationships may be vastly great because you just can’t see the other side, but freedom is always worth it.
Remember that truth, just like a lie, also has power and momentum, but truth will stand the test of time. Find reassurance that even though some people may never realize the truth, the truth WILL be understood and appreciated by the people who matter. As painful as it can be, it is sometimes necessary to chisel down your circle to just a handful. If you must start over, you are not alone. It has been done successfully by many. The freedom of truth is on the other side.
Be The Person That Stops The Lie
I want to share a personal story with you. One day a couple of people got to talking about me. In most ways it was an innocent conversation. One of them had not seen me since high school, while the other had had more recent interactions with me (I’ll explain later how I now know this conversation occurred). One of them had formed an opinion of me based on what he had seen on social media and asked the question, “Isn’t she a narcissist?” The other responded, “I don’t agree.” and went on to defend my honor because of how she had personally experienced me. In this case, one person who challenged what was being said about me, ended up changing the course of my life. It may seem like a bit of an overstatement to say that it altered the direction of my life so significantly, but it did! I now know about this conversation because years later I am in a healthy, committed (married to my best friend) relationship with the man who initially asked that question. He eventually shared with me exactly what his perception of me originally had been and explained that our mutual friend had challenged him. Had she simply agreed, or not taken the time to oppose him with what she knew to be true of me, my life today would have a significantly different landscape.
Be bold enough to defend a person’s honor or at least be one to remind others as conversation unfolds, to keep an open mind about what the best, most complete representation of another person may be. The full truth is a lot of times vastly deep, just like all the things that are inside a person’s heart.
“There are always two sides to every story, and it is generally wise, and safe, and charitable, to take the best; and yet there is probably no one way in which persons are so liable to be wrong, as in presuming the worst is true, and in forming and expressing their judgement of others, and of their actions, without waiting till all the truth is known.” – Jonathan Edwards
A Lie Has Speed But Truth Has Endurance Part 1
Here are some common, self-produced and easy-to-believe lies that you may believe about yourself:
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