Question: How do you spot someone lying?
Answer: Try looking in the mirror.
Sometimes the hardest liar to spot is the one in the mirror.
In a new book Spy the Lie three former CIA officers detail strategies for detecting deception. According to Forbes columnist Susan Adams, HT: Z, the book offers tips for spotting people who are not telling the truth. Adams distilled 5 summary points from the book:
1. Look for deceptive behaviors and responses within the first five seconds of asking a question.
2. Someone telling the truth will say immediately and plainly that they did not commit the crime.
3. Liars often respond to questions with truthful statements that cast them in a favorable light.
4. Liars often repeat a question to stall for time, go into attack mode against the questioner or butter up the questioner with compliments.
5. Nonverbal cues to lying include hiding the mouth or eyes, throat clearing or swallowing, grooming gestures like adjusting shirt cuffs, shifting weight around and sweating.
Of course, pinning down a skilled liar is not easy.Sometimes the most difficult liar to catch is ourselves. Think about Proverbs 16:2 (cf. Proverbs 12:15):
“All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the Lord weighs the motives.”
According to this Proverb, there are times when we fool ourselves. We believe that our ways are clean. But, God only knows the reality.
Has there ever been a time when your spouse asked, “Is something wrong?” and you responded in a tense voice, “No, nothing is wrong!”
And when you did respond in that tense voice that nothing was wrong – - -did you spot the liar?
Or, maybe responded to you, “What is that supposed to mean?” And you said, “Nothing. Nothing at all. It was just a simple question.”
There are times when we deceive even ourselves. We persuade our consciences that our motives are pure. In reality, only God knows us at the depths of our being.
This is one of the many reasons we need to spend prayerful time in the Word. Then the Holy Spirit will convict us with the truth rather than only feelings.
It is only as we see ourselves in the mirror of God’s Word—only as we are sharpened and strengthened in the community of God’s people—that we begin to understand ourselves more truly.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9