While parents often find their children’s lies troubling—for they signal the beginning of a loss of innocence—Kang Lee, a psychologist at the University of Toronto, sees the emergence of the behavior in toddlers as a reassuring sign that their cognitive growth is on track. What drives the increase in lying sophistication is the development of a child’s ability to put himself or herself in someone else’s shoes.
Known as theory of mind, this is the facility we acquire for understanding the beliefs, intentions, and knowledge of others. Also fundamental to lying is the brain’s executive function: the abilities required for planning, attention, and self-control. The two-year-olds who lied in Lee’s experiments performed better on tests of theory of mind and executive function than those who didn’t. Even at 16, kids who were proficient liars outperformed poor liars.
(National Geographic Staff, “Why Science Says It's Good for Kids to Lie,” National Geographic online, 5/18/18).
[The full article on which this excerpt is based is filled with examples of liars who greatly harmed others with their lying. The National Geographic points out that… “Even academic science—a world largely inhabited by people devoted to the pursuit of truth—has been shown to contain a rogues’ gallery of deceivers, such as physicist Jan Hendrik Schön, whose purported breakthroughs in molecular semiconductor research proved to be fraudulent” (https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/06/lying-hoax-false-fibs-science/). Scientists recognize that researchers who lie cause great harm to science. How much more benefit will there be to society from those taught honesty from the very beginning?
In absolute contrast, we have the privilege of coming to our Creator who “cannot lie” (Titus:1:2). It’s not that God won’t lie, it’s that His nature will never allow Him to lie. Colossians:3:9-10 tells us, “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him…”]