The punishment of a liar is that he is never believed, even when he speaks the truth.
They say lying is an art. It looks pretty for as long as it comes off. However, it is quite the contrary when it doesn’t, though that is the least distressing of its side effects.
One fallout of fibbing is that, more often than not, it ends up becoming a habit. And like all bad habits, it is hard to stop once you have begun. People who get the desired outcome from a simple lie are more predisposed to lying than, say, someone who was caught red-handed on their very first attempt. However, that is not to say that a compulsive liar is immune to being caught. If anything, their trustworthiness takes an even bigger hit when their falsehoods come to light. The result? Well, even when they genuinely need help and are honest about it, no one is willing to buy into their supposed lie.
However, probably the most damaging outcome of a lie is that tarnishes the liar’s credibility forever. They may have been honest previously, and they may be honest thereafter, but the lie taints the opinion people had of them. A small, apparently harmless lie has the potential to destroy year-long relationships, creating the kind of gulf that is tremendously hard, if not impossible, to bridge. And all that it leaves behind for the person who was lied to is pain, while the one who lied fares no better as he has to bear the cross of an almost unendurable regret. It is not just the opinion that the other person had of him that changes, but also the one he had of himself.
Ancient Jews had very clear views on lying and its adverse effects. There is a well-known Hebrew saying that goes as follows: “The punishment of a liar is that he is never believed, even when he speaks the truth.” It is noteworthy that variants of this quote are also attributed to the legendary Greek fabulist, Aesop, and the Irish playwright and activist, George Bernard Shaw.