Getting caught in a “little white lie” is embarrassing. Far worse is when you’re caught lying about something big and bad, such as stealing from your employer, deceiving your parents or cheating in your relationship.
Here’s the truth about lying: we all do it. You aren’t the first person to get caught in a lie, and you won’t be the last. Now you have two choices. One, you might decide to call yourself a liar and believe your lies are who you are. This is a trap that will keep you caught in a web of lies, deception, and pain.
Or, you can learn healthy ways to respond when you get caught lying. You can change how you think about yourself, your relationships, and your life! Come with me; I’ll show you how to walk the narrow path to truth, healing, and light.
In this article we’ll explore three steps to responding when you’re caught in a web of lies. Lying — even when you aren’t found out — is embarrassing and destructive. Lies rip apart the fabric of your relationships and self-identity.
It may not be easy to face the truth of who you are and why you lied, but it’ll be worth it.
When You’re Caught in a Lie
This article is part of my She Blossoms Through the Bible project, and it’s inspired by Genesis 31. In this chapter Jacob deceives Laban by running away with his (Jacob’s) wives, children, livestock and possessions without saying anything. Rachel steals Laban’s household gods and lies to him about it. Jacob got caught lying; Rachel didn’t.
You don’t have to believe in God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit to benefit from my tips on how to respond when you’re called a liar or when you get trapped in your own web of lies. The Bible has words of wisdom, instruction and healing for all people, believers or not. If you’re a follower of Jesus, you’ll find these ideas especially interesting and helpful.
1. Face the truth behind your lies
In How to Stop Making Relationship Mistakes we learn that Abraham (Jacob’s father) lied more than once about his relationship with his wife Sarah. In Genesis 31 we learn that Laban lied to Jacob when he said Rachel would be his wife after seven years of labor. Both Jacob and Rachel deceived Laban (Rachel’s father) — and Rachel stole from him. Lots of different types of lies, with one thing in common: fear. These Hebrew people believed in the Lord God, yet they were driven by fear, insecurity, and lack of faith. I don’t know if they realized the truth behind their lies, but I see something here for us.
What fears lie beneath the lies you tell? We lie because we’re scared of getting caught doing something wrong or bad. Sometimes we don’t want to admit we made a mistake, or that we succumbed to temptation in a moment of weakness. Whether or not you’re caught lying, the healthiest response is to consider the reason why you lied. Fear is the deepest reason…but what are you afraid of?
2. Admit that you lied
Jacob and Rachel lived with their lie for seven days. They were on the run, traveling across hills and over valleys, through fields and streams. Genesis 31:23-24 tells us that Laban finally caught up with Jacob — and then God said to Laban in a dream: “Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.” This doesn’t mean Jacob was off the hook for lying and deceiving Laban, or that God condoned Jacob’s lies! It means that God had an overall plan for Jacob’s life. God didn’t want Laban interfering in His plans…but Laban was still permitted to confront Jacob and Rachel for lying and stealing.
Who do you confess your lie to? Maybe you got caught lying and somebody is asking for a response. Maybe you need to ‘fess up (confess) and tell the truth about why you lied and who you lied to. Admitting that you lied won’t be easy. In fact, telling the truth may be downright painful and even destructive to a relationship. But if you don’t tell the truth you’ll always be trapped in a web of lies. Some people say this is why Jesus said “the truth will set you free” in John 8:32 (but Jesus was actually talking about Himself as the truth).
If you’re curious what Jesus meant, read What does it mean that “the truth will set you free”? on GotQuestions.
3. Find ways to stay in the truth
Jacob’s personal and family history in Genesis involved many deceptions, theft, and lies. His mother Rebekah encouraged him to lie and steal his brother Esau’s birthright and blessing (which I described in Getting the Love You Want). Jacob lied when he was young and was still getting caught lying when he was a husband, father, and wealthy 55 year old man…but this doesn’t mean he’s a liar forever and ever, amen. It means he kept letting his fear, insecurity, and lack of faith push him into telling lies that destroyed his relationships and soul.
Learn the truth of who you are — and remind yourself every day. You may be searching for ways to respond when you get caught lying, but there is something more important at stake! Your emotional health, spiritual wellness, and identity. You lie because you’re scared, insecure, and faithless. You don’t know if you can trust God or other people. You’re protecting yourself from getting hurt, facing the consequences, living in uncertainty.
The truth is that you were created for a purpose. God put you here on this earth — and brought you here to She Blossoms — because He has a plan for your life. Part of His plan involves Jesus Christ, who is the bridge between you and God. Another huge part of God’s plan is the Holy Spirit, who tells you when you’re lying and shows you how to walk in truth, light and joy.
May you find strength to respond with integrity when you get caught lying. I pray for courage and wisdom as you tell the truth. Jesus, I ask you to fill us with hope and faith so that we can live in truth in light, no matter what the consequences. I thank you for being the truth in our lives, for showing us the way, and for loving and accepting us when we turn to you. Amen, amen, and amen.
Your thoughts — big and little — are welcome below! Were you caught lying, and how will you respond?
With His love,
P.S. Are you struggling to make a decision or find the right path in your life? Read an Easy Way to Stop Overthinking God’s Will for Your Life.