As God As My Witness

Sometimes interchangeable with: "May God strike me dead if I'm lying."

 "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain."  Exodus 20:7

"Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, 'You shall not make any false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.' But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your statement be, 'Yes, yes' or 'No, no'; anything beyond these is of evil." Matt 5:33-37

I cannot tell you the exact times and reasons these two interchangeable declarations fell in exaggerated huffs from my Narcissistic mother's mouth while she flapped her arms and got bent out of shape at whomever she was talking to, but it's been one of her most frequently uttered sayings over the past forty-eight years (which is as far back as I can remember), but possibly even longer than that, and numbers perhaps in the hundreds of thousands of times. And knowing what I know now of my Narcissistic mother's propensity for gaslighting and pathological lying, I wonder if ANYTHING she's ever said about anyone or anything has ever been true. It's a bit disconcerting to imagine that EVERYTHING my Narcissistic mother has ever told me has been a lie. 

What's interesting to note about Jesus' commentary regarding the Law about taking name of the Lord in vain--which rather clarifies a couple thousand years worth of (Christian) debate as to precisely what that particular Law means--is that its seemingly innocuous origins are not innocuous at all, but evil. (Leave it to a Jew to solve the riddle, eh?)

"But let your statement be, 'Yes, yes' or 'No, no'; anything beyond these is of evil."

It's safe to say that God knows the heart of man and all the deceitfulness therein.  And if a person wasn't a chronic liar, he/she wouldn't go through the arm-flapping, huffing theatrics of swearing to God that he/she is telling the truth, nor challenging God to strike him/her dead if they're telling a lie (this time, as opposed to all other times), or calling down the God of the universe to come and bear a special witness and corroborate that (this time) he/she is really telling the truth (again, as opposed to all other times in which everything may have been a lie). 

Do we all tell lies from time to time? Whoppers or even little white lies?  Yes, of course we do.  We're human and we all break the Laws of God.  The thing is, for most of us.. it bothers us to lie.  It picks away at our conscience and makes us feel bad, guilty.  And many of us eventually go confess and own-up to our wrong-doing, to the person we wronged (if possible, unless they are deceased), and to God. Evidently, God isn't much fond of being dragged into the liar's court and having His name dropped carelessly from a liar's lips, demanding that He corroborate anything the liar swears to.

I'm fully aware that my Narcissist mother's image of self-righteous perfection is the fa├žade she wants everyone to see, and not the chronic, pathological liar that hides behind her mask of deceit.   Yet all her effort to be seen as a truth-teller, is the very thing that exposes her as a liar.  And I'm guessing this would be true of all Narcissists when they are extra adamant that people should believe them; not only taking the Lord's name in vain, but engaging ANY temperamental theatrics while swearing to God that he/she has told the truth--when a plain 'yes' or 'no' would suffice.

"But let your statement be, 'Yes, yes' or 'No, no'; anything beyond these is of evil."

Terri M. © September 2012

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