What A Web We Weave

“Oh, what a web we weave when first we practice to deceive”. This was a phrase I learned when I was in elementary school, and relearned many, many times throughout my life. There is just something deep in the lizard part of the human brain that makes us deceive others even when the absolute truth would serve us better.

According to Webster, someone who is deceived has accepted “as true or valid what is false or invalid”. Likewise, one who deceives others convinces them to accept, as truth, something false.

There are numerous warnings in the Bible concerning deceit, deception, deceivers, and being deceived by self or others. As an example: Scripture tells us that lying lips [are] abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly [are] his delight.

And yet, with all of those warnings, we still deceive other and even ourselves. The obvious question we have to ask ourselves is, “Why?”

Hummm, let me count the ways. As a starter, it seems that human beings are overly concerned with the perceptions others hold about them. We care way too dearly how others view us.  As a result, we embellish or put on airs or cover up or adjust our persona constantly.

Another reason we deceive is to selfishly manipulate others to gain our own way. We want to do what we want to do and we want others to not only give in to our ways, but to agree with our ways.

Another complicating factor is the unending urge to feed our ego at the expense of others – to feed the perceived need for power.

And, the above examples are just the low hanging fruit. The list can go on and on with many others reasons including simply game playing to see if we can deceive another person.

Our lives become much simpler and rewarding and more unencumbered by simply sticking to the truth. Don’t forget, we don’t really have to fill in the silences of a conversation by making something up just to take our turn in the give and take of conversation or certainly not to merely entertain. Our society would be much more peaceful and civil if we left out the deceit and bombastic language. Let us experiment during these last few weeks of Lent and watch for the results in our own little part of the world.