By Charles Towne           

I was on my way to Hilton Head Island to deliver some of my artwork to a couple of galleries when suddenly the car ahead of me drove over a large diamondback rattlesnake that had chosen the wrong time to cross the road.  The next thing I knew, and I realize that it sounds crazy, that snake was somehow picked up by the tires of the car and thrown through the air to come twisting, turning and cartwheeling through the air as if that was its sole purpose in life to collide with a thud on my windshield!

I hit the brakes.

The large reptile fell from my hood and while convulsively writhing twisting and contorting, it struck repeatedly, blindly, sinking its three-quarter inch long fangs over and over again into the only thing near enough to strike, its own body.

Liars are just like that old snake.

With no regard or consideration for anything other than their own twisted need to destroy, they do their evil with no regard for the consequences.  What I have discovered in my somewhat eventful life is that often we see transference at work as people, for whatever distorted reason, and to whatever destructive purpose, vent their anger and hostility at the innocent in the form of a lie.  The Bible speaks quite eloquently when it says, “And they will believe a lie.”  The big question is… who will believe a lie?

And the answer is, THE LIAR!

In other words, the liar tells the lie so often they began to believe their own lie.  Consequently, the liar ends up not only deceiving, but being deceived.  The Bible tells us that the devil is a liar and the father of it.  The gospel also tells us that “God hates a lie.”  What is going on in the mind of the pathetic person that is so driven? Do they, in fact, realize some sort of evil satisfaction from their actions?

Really, what is the difference between a liar and a gossip?  I don’t have a clue!

It seems to me that gossips and liars are both parts of the same animal. They take turns at sometimes being the head and then sometimes the tail, and to be honest with you no matter how hard I try it is difficult for me to tell them apart.  Think of it, those that are so willing to share the latest dirt are usually more than willing to take a little dust, mix it with some putrid sewer water, stir it up real good until it is mud, and then tell you that it is caviar and expect you to eat it!

The strange thing is that some folks gobble it down, roll their eyes, and say that it is delicious, and then they even ask for more!

Yeah, strange, very strange indeed.  My sainted mama, bless her soul, gave me the following bit of earthy advice: “Be nice, think good thoughts, and don’t put stinky stuff in your mouth.” When she used the term “stinky stuff” she was referring to gossiping.  It was her experience, as it has been mine, that gossips are usually willing to exaggerate the negative and negate the positive.  They’ll turn an infraction into a deadly infarction and magnify and multiply a miserly little molehill and turn it into a mountain.

I don’t know why that is but it surely does seem to be a fact.

Yes, it seems that lying and gossiping are both parts of the same river, and baby, that is a stream you can’t swim.  When we gossip we are doing nothing less than murder.  When we talk about a person with malicious intent, with exaggeration and half-truths, or outright lies we are committing character assassination.  Why folks feel it is necessary to cannibalize another brother or sister is beyond me. Can we really be that hungry? Remember what my blessed mama said: “Be nice, think good thoughts, and don’t put stinky stuff in your mouth. Somehow I believe this gossiping and lying thing must displease our Holy God mightily.  And I’ll say amen to that!

Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.


  1. I agree… gossip is so hurtful. Lets dig a little deeper, though. What causes the liar to lie and the gossiper to gossip? What possibly could be their motivation? Hmmmm….I’m thinking possibly a projection of their own insecurity and feelings of inadequacy. What do you think?

  2. Oh NH, you hit the nail on the head my friend! The twins, lying and gossipping are in effect a result of a raging inferiority complex that seemingly can only be assuaged by destructively attacking another. Even if that other, the one we gossip about is guilty the temporary feeling of exhilaration is after all fleeting, and the lie, like a deadly drug must be repeated, ad nauseum, for the fix to be maintained. Sad, so sad. Let it be said of us that we always build up, never tear down. Chaz

  3. Dear EJ, that self examination/mirror thing you speak of is often too painful, or we are too fragile to see the truth. Either way the only way the twins can be defeated is by much prayer and by drawing near to our Lord. What does the bible say about the tongue being a small member but exceedingly destructive? Father, help us to be what you want us to be. “Let the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in your sight…” Bless you and yours EJ, Chaz

  4. A much needed and thought provoking article! It is so easy to fall into Satan’s traps. One of my husband’s favorite verses was
    Philippians 4:8 and he would say it outloud as a reminder to himself.
    You are so right, Chuck, staying close to God is the safest place to be. He is not only willing, but happy to keep us close and protected in the palm of His hand…away from the snare of the enemy.

  5. Dear CSG, He is there, just there, and He is smiling because He loves you as His special, extra special child. He is holding His blessed arms out to each of us in His acceptance. Listen my friend, listen and you will hear His voice calling to you, whispering your name in love. Please Father, open our eyes that we may see, help us that we do nothing that would dispease you. Let us bring harmony and love, never discord. Let us always know and believe that we are empowered to love all because in that love we are loved. Wash us, make us clean and bring us peace and joy. Broken we are not, but made whole in your love. From glory to glory we are called. Chaz

  6. Lies and untruthful behavior are hallmarks of satan’s weapons against us. If we choose to go in that direction we veer off of our path with the Lord.

    Well written, God bless.

  7. So right you are Don. One of the earmarks of a Christlike character is unwavering honesty and faithfulness. Let there be nothing in our lives that would separate us from the purity and love of our Holy Father. Dear Papa God, help us to be faithful and true in all that we do. Blessings on you and your family Donny, Chaz

  8. This article probably has timeless relevance, but seems so VERY relevant to everything going on right now.
    It is probably fortuitous that you are not afraid or creeped out by snakes, otherwise you could have been seriously traumatized by the whole snake on the windshield incident. Kudos once again to your mother’s wisdom of reminding us not to put stinky stuff in our mouths!

  9. Kristin my dear, there is not much that could traumatize me after the life I have lived. Oh yeah, what a life! Lions, tigers and bears, oh yeah! And then there is the exciting stuff like dealing with crazy people! But then, people usually don’t eat each other do they? I have been asked if I miss working with the large cats and I invariably answer with a resounding, NO! And that NO! is based on one thing and that issue is based on the fact that what goes in must come out and what comes out is very copious and very stinky! Been there, seen that, and cleaned THAT up! Blessings on you my friend, Chaz

  10. Well said once again dear brother Charles. We get to see mountain lions and bears and elk and deer here, but no snakes that will do us harm in the western side of Washington State. Your story brought many thoughts to my mind and heart about liars and gossippers, but I think the followup from EJ and your comments brought some bible to my mind, “a man looks into a mirror and sees his reflectiom, but forgets as sooma as he walks away” (something to that effect). I try to remember this man in the mirror, but I really meed to see Jesus in the mirror so I can remember what I am supposed to look like to the world. Thanks Brother

  11. Mark, my friend and my brother, when I see Jesus in all people and in all… even in my “self,” perhaps that is the beginning even when we fall short of the ideal? Help us, you and I, to be like Jesus, to be love to the world, to genuinely love where the Father is taking me, where He is taking us, perhaps that is the victorious life, perhaps that is where we began to see with our eyes wide open that which is reflected as the divine character in us? Blessings on you and yours pal, Chaz

  12. It is much easier to tell the truth than to lie. Liars must remember the content of their mistruths as opposed to relying on facts that are most often readily available. Kristin hit the nail on the head with her current relevance comment. The internet makes it so easy to expose those liars who choose to tell their tales while on camera or being recorded. Perhaps technology will make liars think twice but I think not… Gossip usually starts with “don’t say anything but did you know…” and that is my switch to divert whatever follows to the trash bin.

  13. And yet, I think ok every man on earth whose wife or girlfriend asks, “does this make me look fat?” ” Don’t you just love it? ” Lying is not always evil, sometimes it is simply a survival instinct kicking in!

  14. Mike, SO VERY RIGHT! One thing about being a good liar, (if there is such an animal) if you are going to excel in this questionable habit, you have to possess a good memory or you will be caught in the act every time! You and yours be blessed my friend, Chaz

  15. Richard, I remember so well when all the ladies wore those tall Marge Simpson hairdos. They were fashionable in another age, and no sane man ever told a woman what he really thought of that bee hive sitting up there on top of wifey’s head. Chaz

  16. Friend Charley, You are a master of composing similes that, when expanded, give us lessons and insight into life. Keep them coming.

  17. Herb ol’ pal, the thing to be remembered, and the secret behind similes and any other form of wordsmithing, and I know you will agree, is to read. I believe it was a country bumpkin by the name of Abraham Lincoln that said, and I quote, “Books are like good friends, you cannot have too many of them.” It is so sad that many people don’t read today. May our merciful God hold you close in His tender arms of love, Chaz

  18. I love this post and I really believe that lying and gossip are a two headed snake as you said. I believe God’s Word tells us what to do in Matthew 18. It’s talking about when you have an issue with someone to go to them and discuss it with them. I don’t think i am stretching the Word too much by using the same way to deal with gossip we are privy to. I think we should tell the person who is gossiping to us to go to the person and find out the truth or encourage them to keep it to themselves.

  19. Ahhh, but Linda, if it were only so simple! Malicious Lying and juicy gossipping are both meals best served hot in bowls of self hate and loathing with relish of insecurity sprinkled liberally over the top. When genuine christians become genuinely christian and their characters are genuinely Christ-like, then, and only then do we see love consistently displayed and and those christians commit themselves to the principle of love in all they do or say.

    Papa God, please help me to be like Jesus in all ways. Amen, Chaz

  20. Those who are controlled by the urge to tell hateful lies are miserable. They build themselves up by tearing another down. This behavior isn’t exhibited by spiritually healthy individuals. The destructive liar needs our prayers . . . but also needs to be avoided.

  21. Judith, When I was a boy Berniece (long dead) would rather tell a lie than eat, and she still ate, a lot!. As a consequence everyone avoided her like the plague. sometimes the best and healthiest thing we can do is avoid those sad people. It is an issue of self preservation isn’t it? Pray for them but let them know that you are on to their shenanigans! You take care and many blessings on you. Chaz


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here