28th July 2013

The Pinocchio Effect

“God … has given us both his promise and his oath, two things we can completely count on, for it is impossible for God to tell a lie.”
Hebrews 6:18 (The Living Bible) 

Do you remember the character Pinocchio? The wooden puppet whose nose grew longer every time he told a lie? Well, that story may not be as far-fetched as it may seem. Researchers from the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Granada in Spain have discovered that when a person tells a lie, there is an increase in the temperature around their nose and in the orbital muscle in the inner corner of their eyes. They have, of course, called it the Pinocchio effect. 

Other researchers at the University of Notre Dame in the USA performed a 10-week study and found that telling fewer lies can literally improve your health. This new research indicates that when people managed to reduce the number of their lies, they reported significantly improved physical and mental health. Professor and lead author, Anita Kelly, reports: “Participants … suffered less from physical complaints such as sore throats and headaches, as well as feeling tense or melancholy.” 

Other evidence indicates that Americans average about 11 lies per person per week. Frankly, that seems a bit conservative to me. Regardless, it does seem now to be a scientific fact that lying is a health hazard. The old saying that honesty really is the best policy, especially when it comes to our overall health and well-being, holds up. 

I always find it fascinating when scientific advances are touted as if some new truth has been discovered, only to find it was revealed in the bible many centuries ago. I like the way the Living Bible renders what the Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:25: “Stop lying to each other; tell the truth, for we are parts of each other and when we lie to each other we are hurting ourselves.” 

Paul also boldly stated in a letter he wrote to Titus that it is impossible for God to lie (1:2). Our triune God is not restricted by time, space, or any physical force. As other scriptures show, with God anything is possible. But perhaps we should say nearly anything. His very character has determined that He will never do some things, because to do them would be to contradict the nature of his core being. Since he created us, it follows that he really does know what is best for us. That includes telling the truth. 

You may remember that Pinocchio’s great dream is to be transformed from being a wooden puppet into a real boy. Eventually this happens, and he becomes a real son to the man who made him. Again, an interesting analogy, because God—who, remember, cannot lie—has told us that he will transform us, restoring us to who we were meant to be. That is the truth, and I tell you this with confidence. My nose is not getting any longer! 

Prayer
Righteous Father, thank you for being able to trust you. You always speak the truth and your love for us is founded in truth. We ask for your gift of faith so that we can rely, trust and rest in your truth all the more. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen
 

Study by Joseph Tkach

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joeandtammyAbout the Author:
Joseph Tkach is the President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in California, USA.

You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK.  For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

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