Like, all the time.
Not big lies, obviously. Little, grey ones.
Fibs. They’re okay, aren’t they? Just a little truth stretching. Taking the imagination for a wee dander.
What do I mean?
“I spent four hours sourcing the right ingredients”. (Six minutes. In Asda. Eight if you include the check-out).
“I’ve had these for years” (I bought them yesterday. I know we can’t afford them and I’m too ashamed to tell you)
“I’m too busy” (I have other priorities)
“I can’t talk right now” (I don’t want to talk right now)
“I didn’t mean to upset you” (I knew exactly what I was doing and when I spoke I wanted to hurt you)
“Only joking” (I’m too frightened to stand by what I really think)
You see? Not the truth, but surely not lies either. ‘Lies’ is such a nasty way of putting it. It’s more, a necessary erm – evil. And Jesus would definitely approve.
Matt 15: 19-20a: For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.
These are what make a man ‘unclean.
ok. He probably wouldn’t.
If I count my fibs as well..lies, it’s possible that I lie more often than I tell the truth.
So why do I do it? Is it..
1. I feel like I’ve got something to hide
2. I want people to like me and I know I’m not enough
3. Family (such a convenient scapegoat). For two halcyon years I had my parents to myself and then I had to share them with my siblings. Getting attention in our house meant either setting yourself on fire, making LOUD NOISES or inventing increasingly bizarre stories. (‘Look! A yeti! In the Garden! No really, this time it’s true’)
4. To misquote Augustine: One lie sets another on fire. Once you start, they’re very difficult to put out.
Fear, shame, pride. They’re all in there. But underlying them is this: I don’t trust Jesus.
I don’t believe that He has made me beautiful. So I lie to make myself look better.
I don’t believe He will take care of me. So I lie to look out for myself.
I don’t believe the truth will set me free. I think safety is found in darkness.
I listen to these lies and I’m afraid I’ll become them.
But they’re not really me. And the way forward is not in pulling up my socks and resolving to be better.
John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
The Truth is a Person and I am in Him.
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
He leads me into the light. Nothing to prove, nothing to lose and nothing to hide.