My son was just finishing up his second year of law school. I had a legal question so naturally, I texted him. Our conversation went something like this:
Hey, when a Canadian gives a sworn testimony, does he/she say, “I promise before Almighty God that the evidence which I shall give shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?”
That’s a good question…I have no idea. Don’t really study that.
So, what did you pay thousands of dollars for????
Well, that brings up a whole other conversation for another time but the point is I wanted to know more about those words, “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” because deceit is the exact opposite, isn’t it? It’s not the truth because it’s not the whole truth. It’s not the whole story. It’s a sin of omission – not coming clean with all the facts and therefore, misleading and manipulating. Molière, a French playwright and actor once said, “It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable.”
We learn to say what we think others want to us to say or what we think is a safe answer that won’t get us in trouble, rather than give a full explanation or a heart felt confession. We hope that the other person won’t catch on or ask more questions and we settle for relief, rather than pursuing truth. We get good at what we practice and deceit is no exception. Deceit is the dangerous and dark under current to the seemingly innocent looking body of water – it lurks beneath the affairs, the betrayal, the disloyalty, the misunderstandings, the compromises and the excuses. It’s ugly and dangerous…
…and when it is exposed, it entangles.
Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins. James 4.17