The Consequences of Deception


People would say, “It’s only a little white lie.” Maybe telling your mother that you did not take a cookie when you were little didn’t much matter, but the habit of lying is like a little leaven added to the dough. It doesn’t take much for the lump of dough to grow into a large amount.  A small lie can grow into a huge deception, especially when there’s a love triangle. Sir Walter Scott, in 1808, wrote a poem called “Marmion.”  A famous quote came from this poem. ‘Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.’ 

Let’s take a closer look at the plot of this story because the ending tells it all. The poem tells how Lord Marmion, of England, lusts for Clara de Clare, a rich woman. Marmion and his mistress, Constance de Beverley, devise a plot to bring down Sir Ralph De Wilton. They forged a letter implicating Clare’s fiancé, Sir Ralph De Wilton, in treason. Constance, a dishonest nun, hopes that her lying letter will restore her to favor with Marmion.  Marmion challenges Sir Ralph De Wilton to a duel, but when Wilton loses the duel, he is obliged to go into exile.  So you ask, what does this have to do with anything?  Well, let’s finish the story. Clara de Clare wants nothing to do with Marmion. She joins a convent. Constance is caught breaking her vows and is walled up alive into the walls of her island convent, though she confesses that Ralph de Wilton was innocent, and in so doing, he regains his distinguished reputation and his land,  while Marmion is killed in the battle at Flodden Field. 

Clara leaves the convent and marries  Ralph de Wilton. Wow! What a story. All of this deception yet in the end, those that deceived lost it all and those who were the victims of the deception won. Yes, deception is a tangled web that one weaves to catch innocent people, but in the end it is the deceiver who gets caught up in the web.  Habitual lying is like any addiction, except people’s lives and reputations can be destroyed. Many people went to prison because of a false witness.  If you are one of these habitual liars, you may  have even lied to yourself so that you can justify your deceptions. If so, you can be freed from it. The Bible tells us to examine ourselves to find truth, because the truth will set us free. We must look into the proverbial mirror and see exactly who we are. Like any addiction, seek help, also seek God. He is a God of truth. If you have destroyed someone’s reputation be like Constance, who in the end, told the truth to clear Wiltons reputation.  As they say, “Honesty is the best policy.” You may not know it, but lies and deception is like a heavy boulder on your shoulders that you carry around with you. It affects your physical and mental  health. Clear the air, tell the truth, make the wrong right, and that burden will be lifted off of you. You will find having a clear conscience will make you a new person. It will be like someone turning on the light into your darkness. It will be as if the dawn of a new day has arrived and the sun has come out to shine on you. Get untangled from the web and begin living and walking in the truth. There is no other way, because those lies and deceptions will bring you down so low that it will be you who will destroy you. If you know someone who is a habitual liar or a deceiver, help them to be set free.

If you need help with lying or deception, or any other crisis,

 visit the “First Aid Kit”

on this website.

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