Lying Can Be a Good Thing?

by | Jan 26, 2016

“Lying is nothing unusual in small children. In fact, it’s a sign of healthy mental growth.”

So states an article titled Children’s Lies Are a Sign of Cognitive Progress in the Wall Street Journal.

Perhaps the key paragraph is this…

“Child-rearing trends might seem to blow with the wind, but most adults would agree that preschool children who have learned to talk shouldn’t lie. But learning to lie, it turns out, is an important part of learning in general—and something to consider apart from fibbing’s ethical implications. “

The article is written from standpoint of psychology research. The clear drift is that children that lie are more successful in life and lying is a skill–something to consider apart from fibbing’s ethical implications as stated above.

So parents, when little Jimmy or Jenny start lying let’s recognize “the good” and be happy they are well on their way to success in life by learning an important cognitive skill.

Don’t be concerned about ethics, the self-centeredness inherent in lying, the manipulation involved or the victimization of others in lying to get what they want. These are minor concerns compared with the larger picture that your children are learning an important skill in how to read others.

Before you buy any of this baloney think back to the time your little one first expressed obvious defiance.

They couldn’t even speak yet their body language and facial expressions clearly communicated “NO” and you can’t make me.

Parents can teach their children many great things but one thing that does not need to be taught is rebellion. It’s inherent. We are born with it. We reject authority and do not like being told what to do. We are sinners by nature and by choice. Parents are wise to recognize that biblical truth early in their child’s life and understand that lying is part of that rebellion.

As a rule modern psychology assumes that mankind is basically good. This is why lying is winked at and the cuter term of “fibbing” is substituted. In psychology the concept of sin is absent and “lying” sounds sinful while “fibbing” does not.

In psychology there are good and poor choices but never sin so it follows that psychology would believe a cognitive skill learned is more important than any ethical implications.

The Bible presupposes a Creator–a Creator who holds his creation accountable.

He’s also a Creator that clearly states that he finds lying, deception, and manipulation to be sinful; apart from any cognitive “skill” that might be gained by practicing lying.

When you read an article like Children’s Lies Are a Sign of Cognitive Progress put on your biblical discernment glasses.

Your reaction to the article should be something like this:

Hmmmmm, that’s interesting about the cognitive skill thing but what does the Bible say?

Oh, I know…

Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. Eph. 4:25, NASB

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Eph. 6:4, NASB

It will please God to teach the little ones to lay aside falsehood and learn the skill of being a truth teller rather than a skilled liar. The Christian should seek to bring up their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord and spit out unhelpful psychology.