Tell Me the Truth

Pietro Aretino, the Italian poet once said, “I love you, and because I love you, I would sooner have you hate me for telling you the truth than adore me for telling you lies.”

We are surrounded by people telling us lies.

Turn on the television. The ads tell you can lose all that unwanted body weight with ease. All you have to do is use this product, follow the directions, and the pounds will fall off. And what’s better is that you’ll find happiness, friends, respect, and the joy of knowing you’ll be able to wear that sexy swimsuit.

Short of cash? Order this course and you’ll make enough income to quit your job. Then you’ll find wealth, security, and happiness.

Want to have fun? Go down to the local bar with the beautiful people. The buzz and the company will make you happy.

Do you see a common theme here?

All these presentations promise those who take action an endless supply of happiness. It’s a lie. If you aren’t happy with who you are now, you won’t be happy later either, no matter how much better things get. It’s the tyranny of finding joy in circumstances. You can’t hold on to that any more than you can depend on every day being sunny. And if you’re already troubled, even sunny days can get you down.

We don’t mind lies so much when someone tells us a lie to make us feel good. But if they make a habit of it, we will see through them. We lie because the truth isn’t always pretty. We lie because the fantasy world seems better than the harsh real world can be.

But when we lie we lose what integrity we may have had.

Trust is hard to come by. Just like money, it must be earned. If you waste it, it’s like emptying your bank account on losing lottery tickets. You have to start from scratch and build it up all over again. And chances are you’ll have to work harder to earn the same value that your trust had before. It’s the same as building your bank account with a paycheck that is half the size of what you used to make.

Lies destroy lives.

It’s why a lying tongue is on the list of things The Lord hates in Proverbs 6.

If you want to be happy, be truthful.