The powerlessness of lies

We all have a God-given ability to do the right thing, and to not be taken in by false narratives.

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A quote widely attributed to Christian author C. S. Lewis sets a high standard for honest living: “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when nobody’s watching.” But there’s a 21st-century propaganda technique that takes the opposite approach. It involves doing the wrong thing – lying – in full view. Those using this technique, described as the “firehose of falsehood,” flood various channels with a slew of messages made up of partial truths and outright fictions.

Such deception aims to confuse and overwhelm us, so it demands alertness to avoid either adopting such lying narratives or reacting to them. While praying about that need recently, I thought about the phrase “firehose of falsehood.” I saw that it’s also an apt way to describe the flood of false assertions we are all continuously faced with – for instance, that we are material beings, subject to lack and limitation, governed by a mortal and self-centered mentality, and “without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12).

Moral qualities that we can express, such as honesty and integrity, contradict this material model of being. They are a window into the true nature we each have that is wholly spiritual – born of divine Spirit, God. This spiritual nature can seem to be way in the background, but Christian Science shines a light on Spirit as creating and governing who we truly are. The Bible reveals that Spirit is Truth, and even glimpsing this fact can prompt us to question the deluge of material assumptions about our origin and existence. Can these assumptions also be true, or do they represent the opposite of Truth?

Spirituality is not just a core part of us but is actually our entire being – our reality. In understanding that we are children of Truth, we can see how natural it is for all of us to love our neighbor as ourselves by being honest – refusing to originate, circulate, or be duped by lies.

Yet, sometimes we can get stuck on believing that the claim that we are material is a real entity that we’re battling. That’s not so. Acknowledging and accepting the opposite truth that we are solely spiritual is key to Christ-healing, and it enables us to see the falsity of contrary claims. A short work by Mary Baker Eddy titled “No and Yes” explains: “It is Truth’s knowledge of its own infinitude which forbids the genuine existence of even a claim to error. This knowledge is light wherein there is no darkness, – not light holding darkness within itself. The consciousness of light is like the eternal law of God, revealing Him and nothing else” (p. 30).

I pondered this powerful insight one night when faced with financial difficulties. As I did, I felt the reality that Truth is all there is, leaving no room for any claim that Truth’s opposite, error, exists – including the lie of lack, which stems from looking to fickle matter rather than dependable Spirit to meet our needs.

In that spiritual awareness of Truth’s allness, I felt confident I could do the right thing and pay some overdue bills, even though that would leave me penniless for weeks to come. The next morning, that confidence in God was vindicated. An unforeseeable turn of events replenished my bank account with as much as I’d paid out the night before. The claim of lack dissolved in the light of Truth’s recognized all-presence.

In that all-powerful light, all lies are powerless. We see this evidenced in practical ways as we awaken to Truth’s infinitude and realize that Truth never creates or sanctions a nature susceptible to lying or believing lies.

On that same basis we discern that God is the true wellspring of all thought and action, and that therefore none of God’s children can perpetrate or be persuaded by a “firehose of falsehood.” On this basis, too, the truly “Big Lie” of matter-based existence increasingly loses its ability to impress us. The material distortions of sickness, lack, loneliness, grief, and sin (all forms of the lie that we can self-separate or be separated from God, good) give way to the spiritual facts of health, abundance, and our reflection of God, who is Love, Life, and Principle.

This is everyone’s reality. The deep, divine integrity of being God’s expression – eternally at one with Truth and influenced by Truth alone – consistently causes us to do what is right, even when nobody’s watching.

Adapted from an editorial published in the April 12, 2021, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.

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