- 1 Peter 2:1-3 (NKJV) Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit (doios), hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, 2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
- Deceit (doios) = being crafty (to catch with a bait), guile, deceit.
There’s a world of difference between “managing the truth” and “manipulating the truth.”
Managing the truth is responding wisely to a question from your young child about where babies come from.
Managing the truth is a husband responding tactfully when his wife asks how she looks in her new dress.
Managing the truth is breaking the news gently to someone informing them they have a serious disease.
Managing the truth is wise, tactful, and merciful.
And the dangerous thing about manipulating the truth is that the moment you do that you are in the shadow land between truth and untruth. Matter of fact to misuse the truth is to tell an untruth (lie). In other words, you can tell the truth untruthfully.
It is so easy to be deceitful and manipulative. After all, what we want is our way–not the other person’s way. What we want to happen is the thing we desire most–not what others desire most. This is human nature; we do this naturally.
Moreover, we learn early on that deceit is so much easier than force. After all, settling everything by playing “king of the hill” or with a duel is just too rough and bloody. The easier way is to get what we want by being deceitful.
But here’s the catch—Christians are not supposed to be deceitful. We must manage the truth wisely but at the end of the day we must be absolutely committed to the truth and to doing what is right whether it is what we like or want.
So what is the answer?
Doing what is in the best interest of the other person is not the answer, for we can’t know for certain what is in the best interest of the other person.
The answer is to live your life doing (to the best of your ability) what is in the best interest God.
Represent God in your dealings with others. Whether it is your child, spouse, friend, colleague, or the world in general—represent the interest of God. Put his will and his honor first.
After all, if He wins then truth and justice and mercy and grace will prevail—and, at the core of our being, that is what we really desire.
Extra Bible reading on this subject: Proverbs 23:1-8 is a classic example of three types of deceit.