Lies, dishonesty, falsehood, fibs, misinformation… there are many ways to label an untruth. Did you know there is a marked difference between deceptive words and deceitful words? They are similar, but the difference is in the intent. Deceptive words are likely misleading, but deceitful words are deliberately so (wikidiff.com). This is what Merriam-Webster.com had to say:
- Deceitful (adj): marked by, based on, or done by the use of dishonest methods to acquire something of value
- Words related to deceitful: fraudulent, misleading, shady, sneaky, sly, tricky…
- Nearest opposite words of deceitful: candid, open, trustworthy, legitimate, valid…
My deceitful words are motivated by a desire to gain something of value. What might fall into this category? How about an embellished resume that makes me appear better qualified for a job than I am? An exaggerated retelling of an event where I receive higher applause than I deserve? Or when I arrange details to throw suspicion off me when I have made a mistake? If a picture says a thousand words, then what is it called when I edit a photo to remove my flaws and attract more attention? Whew, this is getting heavy now!
I would much rather be known for valid stories with legitimate facts. I want to be open and honest. And the funny thing is, when someone is real with me and shares their failures in all candidness, I’m drawn to them and feel that I can trust them. Why would I try to alter the truth and think that people would like me better for it?
This one hits home for me, and I realize I have some repenting to do. How about you? Can you think of examples of ways you might be guilty of deceitful words?
“Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.”1 Peter 3:10