I remember as a kid lying to my father about skipping school. I tried everything to avoid being 'caught'. The problem was - he already knew. But he let me get deeper and deeper into my lie. He drove me around the streets watching me point out "I was here"...all the time knowing there was no truth in it. He was so patient. He waited until I ran out of steam, not saying much except the occasional questions to prod me into further story telling.
I remember the TOTAL guilt I felt by the end of it. It was just the 'ok I know I'm cooked' feeling but it was also the 'I've totally failed him'. Even when my confession came to light and my punishment was metered out, I'll never forget the love and grace he had. Sure he was mad that I had made it worse by adding lie upon lie. But the realisation that I had damaged a little part of our relationship really effected me.
Don't get me wrong, I was a ratbag teenager but I knew one thing for sure - my parents loved me no matter what. I trusted that. But the lying... it created separation. It made an awareness of the possibility of disappointment.
As a parent I've tried to do the same thing for my kids. Give them the space to always feel comfortable with the truth - no matter how uncomfortable or painful. But also that they will know there are consequences for you when you lie.
In the end a lie damages YOU, the sharer of the lie. You might get away with it. You may always do it, justifying your actions. But every time you do, it chips a little bit away at your integrity and your peace. It corrodes at your character. It impacts the internal freedom and joy you experience.
Honesty is always the best policy. In business, in life, in relationships.
Be the one with the integrity!