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Consequences of dishonesty

Have you seen the movie Pinocchio? He was the little boy who was made of wood, whose nose grew longer every time he told a lie.

I can remember when I was around 12-years-old, I came home late. When my Mama asked me why I was late, I told her that my session with my tutor ended late.

She then called my tutor, and found out that I actually left early. When my Mama discovered that I had told a lie, she spanked me – my eyes were the only ones that were spared.

Have you also experienced having to suffer heavy and serious consequences because you chose to not tell the truth?

There are people who have the habit of not telling the truth for different reasons. Some people do it to avoid responsibility, to not be reprimanded, or simply, because they just enjoy the thrill that comes with it.

The difficult thing about lying is that once a person gets so used to this habit, it can birth and branch out into a lot of other things, that can cause harm not only to ourselves, but also to other people.

No matter how good you think your reasons are for lying, or no matter how well you think you’ve plotted your life, a lie is a lie, and it cannot bring us success in the long run. A lie will always be found out in the end.

What are the consequences or negative effects of being a dishonest person?

1. YOU WILL NEED TO BUILD UP ON YOUR LIES
You have to be credible. You need to make sure that the person you are talking to will believe your lies. And so, you will need to come up with a second lie to make your first lie believable. You will need to make up another story just so you won’t be found out.

It’s so difficult to thread a story together, especially if it’s just made up. Imagine having to make sure that the first scene, up until the very last, as well as the people involved, the place, the time – everything needs to match.

The difficult thing is, because what you’re saying are not facts but just made-up stories, you will go through a lot of pressure. And in the midst of this pressure, you are likely to get found out because you can forget details, and you can break down out of nervousness.

2. YOU DON’T VALUE WHAT IS TRUE
There is a saying that goes, “The truth can set you free.” But “being free” here is not applicable to those who do not put any value in the truth, that is, to those who are dishonest.

When you are being dishonest, you are not only hiding from the truth, but you are also imprisoning yourself in the false and wrong things that you are trying to force yourself to believe in.

When you don’t value the truth anymore, your tendency is to hide everything that is true. Hiding the truth doesn’t only affect you, but also the people around you. You are being unfair to them. You are depriving them of the truth, regardless if it’s a big thing or not.

3. YOU LIVE IN SHAME
Maybe you think you’ve succeeded now, but my friend, it will be very embarrassing once you get found out in the end.

It will be embarrassing because imagine, how many days, weeks, months, or even years have you been hiding the truth from your family and friends?

And then, the moment they find out about the truth, they will also find out that you have been lying about it ever since. Or even worse, maybe they already know about the truth right from the start, yet here you are, still lying to them straight to their face. In the end, it’s you who will be embarrassed and humiliated.

Regardless of what angle we try to look at it, nothing good can ever come out of dishonesty. It can only bring us harm.

What are the things that we can do to avoid these things?

1. ALWAYS TELL THE TRUTH
There’s nothing wrong with telling the truth. In fact, “Honesty is the best policy,” as the saying goes. None of us are perfect, so it’s perfectly understandable that sometimes, we forget things, and feel stressed, or feel afraid to make a mistake. But, we shouldn’t use these as an excuse to lie. If you got caught up in a bad situation, explain it well, ask for forgiveness, and try your best to not do it again. Don’t let other people lose their trust and respect for you.

2. TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY
If you did something wrong, face it. Don’t run away from it. If you avoid the problem, you are only prolonging the agony. You are only allowing the heaviness in your heart to stay much longer than it should. Not only are you punishing yourself, but you are also punishing, although indirectly, the people involved.

What happened already happened. What’s done is done. Just admit it, and pray that it will all go smoothly.

3. NEVER MAKE EXCUSES
Excuses will only prolong your embarrassment. You will not be able to settle the real issue at hand if you make excuses because these excuses are just a temporary fix.

Just like what I’ve said, the truth will always come out, and most of the time, the truth gets found out when you least expect it. It’s much better to come clean right away, than have the person you are hiding the truth from know about it from someone else. When that happens, the consequences can be heavier. It will be much harder to fix the relationship then.

4. ACCEPT THE CONSEQUENCES
For me, this is probably the primary reason why people choose to lie. They don’t want to get hurt, they don’t want people to get mad at them or to say hurtful things to them.

But then, a mistake is a mistake that needs to be lived up to. The consequences that come with the mistake are there for us to be able to learn in this life, and be able to know better and choose the right thing next time.

THINK. REFLECT. APPLY.

Do you have the habit of lying? Were there people who got hurt when they found out that you lied to them? What can you do to avoid lying? (Chinkee Tan)

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