— the action or practice of deceiving someone by concealing or misrepresenting the truth : a web of deceit.
— an attempt or disposition to deceive or lead into error; any declaration, artifice, or practice, which misleads another, or causes him to believe what is false;
Deceit is not one of the Seven Deadly Sins but, in my opinion, should be included on the list. The foundation of all deceit is lies and building and maintaining a foundation of lies requires tremendous energy. A deceitful person must maintain at least three, often more, versions of the deceit. One that is known to the world, the truth, and one shared with those who are deceived, the lie. Then there is the lie that the person must tell him/her self in order to “rationalize” their action — It’s okay not to tell the truth because the truth would hurt the person(s) I am deceiving.
The most common form of deceit is the “sin of omission” — the primary reason I believe it should be included in the 7 Deadly Sins. What is left out of the truth makes the truth a lie in the same manner as the direct lie. We even have a word for this sin. It is referred to as a half-truth which entails the other half being a lie. Unfortunately most people who practice deceit, today’s best example would be Trump who is a master of deceit, focus their energy on the half truth and not the half lie. Either way you examine the issue, it still adds up to deceit because it is not the truth and someone will eventually be hurt by this deception.
I have been on both sides of deceit and the “truth” is, deceit hurts a lot more. I can live with truth no matter how painful it might be. I know this because I am here, but I will not accept deceit from anyone I respect and love. The cost of deceit is too high. It can destroy a life. It can destroy a marriage. It can destroy a friendship.
* Source: Oxford American Dictionary