How can you tell if someone is telling the truth?
In ancient Egypt, raw rice was put in the mouth of those who were being asked questions. If, after the questioning was over, blood appeared, then the inquisitors judged that a falsehood had been told.
How did this work? If you lie, presumably your mouth goes dry, with little saliva to lube the rice granules.
When my kids lied as children, they would look up and away. Dead give-away.
When I tell a lie my lip quivers. I know, because I can feel it. Can you see it? And to be honest here, I’ve not always been a truth teller, more concerned with reputation than character. I’ve lied to family members, bosses, pastors and friends at various times. I’m not proud of bending the truth – and in the moment it made sense. But now, it seems silly, because usually I was found out anyway.
The terrible thing is that we aren’t taught how to lie. It comes naturally to the smallest of children.
The Lasso of Truth
The modern polygraph is interesting. It was created by William Marston, who had observed behavioral characteristics associated with lying, such as increased blood pressure, avoiding eye contact and fidgeting. So he created a crude machine to monitor and record certain aspects of human physiology. They still use his technology today.
Marston later went on to create something even – ahem – more impactful. He created the Marvel character, Wonder Woman. And one of her weapons was the “Lasso of Truth,” that would ensnare the guilty and free the innocent.
God posed a question to Adam in the garden. “Where are you, Adam,” after he and Eve had taken a bite more than they could chew. Hiding in the trees, naked, ashamed and afraid, God knew exactly where they were. He knew what they had done. He knew the consequences. And still, He asked.
I still get asked those kinds of questions from God:
What are you doing?
Where are you going?
What are you thinking?
What is your direction?
Are you lying to others? Lying to God? Is truth easy or hard for you?
What He Said. “Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”