The Power Of Deceit and Lies

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Proverbs 18:21

21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.

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James 3:3-5

Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well. Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things.  See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!

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The tongue has great power, for good or evil.  The power of the tongue for evil is especially true of a lying, deceitful, or flattering tongue, a key tool of the narcissists.  (Lying was in the core nature of Satan, the original narcissist).

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Proverbs 26:28

28 A lying tongue hates those it crushes,
And a flattering mouth works ruin.

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Why is lying an especially powerful tool in the N’s arsenal?  Most normal, unjaded people want to believe what we are being told, and expect people to tell us the truth.   Therefore, our guard is down and we do not expect to be lied to.   (If someone introduced a statement by saying “I’m going to lie to you right now”, we might be on guard – but even then, maybe not).  It takes much work, discernment, and alertness to filter constant lies – and there is ultimately only so much that we have the energy to filter and defend against.  Therefore, when a narcissist tells a lie, and we or others believe it, he can manipulate us into a completely different (and false) mental (or physical) state than we would have otherwise chosen.

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Narcissists will use lies and deceit (and exaggeration) to achieve a variety of goals:

  1. Self exaltation
  2. Getting what they want
  3. Manipulating others
  4. Hurting others
  5. Hiding the evil which they are doing or planning to do (Isaiah 59:4)
  6. Avoiding the consequences of their actions
  7. Protecting themselves against others’ attacks (Isaiah 28:17, 57:11)

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We cannot prevent a narcissist from lying to us.  They will speak according to their internal nature, and God will hold them accountable for their lies.  However, there are some things which we can do.  Ultimately, the way to defeat a lie is with the truth.   How do we do this?

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First,  speak truth to yourself

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Psalm 15:1-2

15 Lord, who may abide in Your tent?
Who may dwell on Your holy hill?
He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness,
And speaks truth in his heart.

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This means that when an narcissist tells lies to tear you down, deceive you, or even flatter you for the sake of gaining an advantage over you, speak truth to your own heart as a counter to those lies.  The ultimate question is – “what does God say about this situation as opposed to what the lying Narcissist is saying about it”?

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Second, saturate yourself in the truth as a general protection against lies.

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Ephesians 6:14

14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

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Being saturated with truth will provide an automatic “lie alert” and protection against lies coming your way – which you may not be expecting or for which you may be unprepared.

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Third, realize that knowing and speaking truth to ourselves will provide some measure of freedom from the chains the lie-teller is seeking for us.

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John 8:31-32

31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

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Jesus was of course speaking of the ultimate freedom and salvatation from the penalty of sin that comes from knowing the truth about Him.  But there is a sub-application of His statement that results in freedom from specific points of bondage that come from believing anything counter to His true truth.

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Fourth, understand that there is a time and place for speaking public truth against a Narcissists’ lies.  Jesus spoke the Word against the tempting lies of Satan when He was tempted in the wilderness.  There is a wise way and time to do it (to be discussed in future blog posts).  Narcissists will fight back hard against truth which exposes their lies.  Therefore we need to wield that sword wisely and skillfully.

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Let truth defend you against the attacks.  Practically speaking, when a narcissist speaks lies to you to tear you down, deceive you, or even flatter you for the sake a gaining an advantage over you, speaking the true truth to yourself and ultimately to others will be the biggest protection you can have against their attempts to harm you.

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We are not just talking about invoking our own opinions and labeling them truth, but seeking to get as close as possible to real reality – which is ultimately truth which comes from God.  The ultimate truth is God’s truth, shown in Jesus (“I am the truth”), and written down in the Bible.

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To go deeper:

A complete word study on “lying”

A complete word study on “lie

Be Loved, To Love

We Love Because He First Loved Us

Boundlessly Good

God's Motive For All That He Does