5 Things God Will Show You When Someone Is Being Deceitful

John 3:19-21

Here are 5 things God will show you when someone is being deceitful to you.

1. If God Has Shown You that This Person Has a Low View of Scripture, This Could Be a Warning About Future Deceit

Because of God’s common grace to humanity, there is a universal moral law that can felt on every corner of the earth. No matter where you go, whether it be New York City or a small tribe of an unreached people group, there will be a word for “lying” in that culture.

However, while morality comes from God to all humans, because of human sin, we all seek to twist God’s moral law to our own benefit. This is why we need the Bible. The Bible gives us clarity about what we’ve always felt in our conscience (Romans 2:12-16, Romans 3:20).

Therefore, when someone has a low view of Scripture, they will find ways to twist it to ease their sinful conscience as they deceive others. As Colossians 2:8 states, “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.”

If someone doesn’t spend time in God’s word, they will feel free to lie to you in self-serving ways because they will lack God’s light to keep them on the right road.

2. If Someone Has a Reason to Dislike You But They Are Going Out of Their Way to Be Nice to You, This Could Be a Deceitful Person

Proverbs 26:23-28 (NIV),

Like a coating of silver dross on earthenware are fervent lips with an evil heart. Enemies disguise themselves with their lips, but in their hearts they harbor deceit. Though their speech is charming, do not believe them, for seven abominations fill their hearts. Their malice may be concealed by deception, but their wickedness will be exposed in the assembly. Whoever digs a pit will fall into it; if someone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them. A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin.”

How will you know if someone is doing this to you or whether someone is just being kind? One clue is when this person is already “your enemy” but they are disguising themselves with their lips. In other words, if you’ve had a problem with someone but this person is not addressing it and they are just acting kind to you, this could mean they are setting you up for a future attack.

Christians should reconcile when possible. But this happens through talking about the issues and forgiving each other. If someone is your enemy but they are trying to say nice things about you when you are around, it’s highly likely they are being deceitful.

3. When Someone Is Inconsistent Towards You Depending on Who Is Around, God Is Showing You that This Person Is Deceitful

People act differently in different environments. Someone may have been genuinely kind to you, but then in a different environment they show themselves to be genuinely bad for you. This person didn’t really change. You just didn’t get a chance to see this side of them because that side of them only comes out in certain environments.

This is why we need to trust people slowly. Allow yourself to see someone in multiple environments before you trust them too much.

As Proverbs 26:26 states, “. . . though his hatred be covered with deception, his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.” When he’s not in the assembly, it can be harder to see the truth about this person. But in the assembly (i.e. a different environment), the truth is exposed.

4. Someone Who Lacks Self-Control and Discipline Will Often Fail When Their Loyalty Is Tested

If you have a friend or a significant other who lacks discipline and self-control, don’t expect them to have discipline and self-control when they are tested by being required to do the right thing when you aren’t watching (Proverbs 22:15, Luke 6:39-40).

5. If They Refuse to Come Into God’s Presence, They Are Deceitful

When someone is living in sin, they usually hate Christians because the light in the Christian’s life brings a conviction to that person that they want to avoid. When you come into God’s presence and there is sin in your life, in love he will convict you. If you don’t want to be convicted, you just avoid God’s presence.

So if someone doesn’t have a regular devotional time, doesn’t go to church, and generally tries to avoid things that involve seeking God’s presence, this is often because they have deceit in their life that they don’t want to be exposed. As Jesus said:

And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” (John 3:19-21)