Tag Archives: lies

Thought for Friday Oct 12, 2012

It’s been a while since I last wrote a post.  I know it’s been awhile because I can’t remember the last one I wrote, so I know it’s been too long.  As for those of you who follow me, I want to say thank you for your patience, and I’m glad that you find something of value when you come here to read whatever it is I’ve published.  I know that there are a number of you who have expressed a desire to see me write more of my own things, and to publish the writings of others less, no matter how great or worthwhile their writings may be or have been in the past.

Those of you who have been with me for a long time know that I’m not that forth coming when it comes to talking or writing about myself.  There are a number of reasons for this, and while they’re all true, I don’t like any of them.  The first is because I don’t like myself very much, and find it very difficult to see much in myself that is very likable or worthwhile.  It’s not easy to write that, but to say anything less would be a lie, and as anyone who knows me knows I’m a terrible liar.  I suppose one has to like something or at least see the advantage in doing something before one can be very good at it, and since I absolutely hate being lied to, and lying in general, it stands to reason I can’t pull it off with any degree of skill.  For me lying is the equivalent to my being almost bald.  You can see it for what it is, so it’s just easier to admit and live with the fact than to try and deny it.

Some people would probably say I suffer from low self-esteem.  That’s what the world calls it, and that’s what I’ve had a number of people tell me is my problem.  To be honest, low self-esteem is a label just like “Hines Ketchup” and “Budweiser” are labels.  It’s descriptive of an attitude and a behavior, a thing, but labels  only describe what can be seen; they’re not really indicative of what’s within.  For that someone has to go further than just looking at the label.  You really want to know what “Hines Ketchup” or “Budweiser” tastes like you have to open them up and taste them to know for sure what they are.

I know what the world calls it when someone has a low opinion of oneself.  I have a hard time with seeing myself that way.  I don’t think I suffer so much from low self-esteem as I suffer from a lack of understanding of what it is to know grace.  For me, the way I feel about myself is a product of knowing who I am better than anyone else, except for God, and I can tell you from having lived with myself and having experienced the consequences of living with the things I’ve done that I have no right to feel good about myself.

In truth, all labels are misleading to a degree, and most of them are distortions, and are overly simplified explanations of things far more complicated than what they appear to be.  People are labeled all the time, if not by others, by themselves, and very, very seldom does justice, honesty, or truth enter very far into any of the labels we use to describe others or ourselves.  None of us have a truly accurate view of ourselves or others, and if there’s one great deception in this world, it’s in the fact that so many of us think that we do…

 

Just In Our Eyes by Wayne Augden

I’ve been thinking and praying all day about what I should write tonight, and up until about two minutes ago, I had no idea.  I’ve been reading through the Bible, and today, I was reading in Matthew 7: 1-5.  There’s so much good stuff in these five verses that one could study them and meditate on them for years, and still not fully grasp all that they give us in the way of wisdom, and how applicable they are in discerning what real love is, and how we should love others, and ourselves.

Sometimes, it’s the easiest thing in the world to define ourselves and the world we live in by looking at other people and their actions.  What’s harder is understanding that other people are defining themselves by us and our actions.  It’s a hard concept to grasp.  Judging others comes so easy, and it feels so good, and it’s like a topical antiseptic…just apply it and in a few moments you feel better.  At least, for the short-term, it’s true, but why doesn’t it last?  And, why is it that making judgments about others becomes like eating “Lays” potato chips; nobody can be satisfied with just one.  Could it be that it becomes a habit, an addiction, an easy fix to an inner wound that we’re not willing to deal with, and that we don’t want to heal because then we’d lose the right to feel pain over it.  More to the point, we’d lose our sense of justification to use it as a way to continue living the way we are.  Isn’t that what judgment is?  A way to justify behavior?

What we fail to understand is there’s a price for justifying the way we live, but sadly, too often, it’s not us who have to pay the price, at least not in the short-term.  Too often the ones who are paying the price are the ones we’re judging, and too often our judgments become like those of the arsonist lighting a fire.  At their worst, they can and do destroy the lives of people, and if they don’t destroy a person they can cause so much damage that it may set people back years, and prevent them from ever living up to their potential.

The sadness of this is that more often than not, the ones making the judgments are the first ones to cry foul when they’re on the receiving end.  So many of us are so quick to want to help someone else, when we can’t even help ourselves, and are guilty of the same things.  It’s like telling someone to stop drinking when you’re holding a drink.  I can’t possibly begin to express all the ugly ways and means by which hypocrisy rears its ugly head, but it’s beginning lies….just in our eyes.

A Thought on Truth and Hypocrisy

Sometimes, we as Christians, and just people in general, have a hard time accepting the truth.  We can see it, even know it, and yet still refuse to live by and accept it.  We live in a world that likes to tell us that we can live according to our own truth, that we can make it up as we go along, or that we can just pick out the parts of it we like, and leave the rest of it.  All of these things are ways of rationalizing our behavior.  The American Heritage Dictionary defines the word rationalize as:To devise self-satisfying but incorrect reasons for (one’s behavior).  That’s a fancy, intellectual way of saying, that we just plain flat-out lie to ourselves.  Some people become so good at it, they don’t even recognize that they’re doing it.  Imagine living in a whole world full of people who are all telling themselves lies so that they can feel self-satisfied with their behavior…

Christians aren’t above this kind of behavior either, sad to say, and it’s because they’re not, that we have had to live with the world’s accusation that the church, the body of Christ, is filled with hypocrisy, and that many of us are hypocrites.  In the ancient Greek theater, a hypocrite was one who wore a mask while playing a part on a stage in which he would imitate the walk, talk, and behavior typical of a character being played.  It’s where we get the modern term “actor” from.  In essence, he would be a religious fraud.  I won’t deny that there are hypocrites in the church, but then there are hypocrites in the world, too.

Truth and hypocrisy go about as well together as peanut butter and sauerkraut, a striped blouse and polka-dot skirt, white wine at a tailgate party…. you know what I mean.  Yet, so many people, both in and out of church, in the world, mix and match, and combine, all sorts of things, and come up with some of the most  comical, nonsensical,  and inane conclusions about their own lives and the lives of others, and the world we live in that well… just defy understanding.  Not only that, but it’s in the combining, the mixing and matching, of things that don’t go together that have given birth to some of the most perverted ideas and philosophies we see in the world around us.

Some people might roll their eyes, when I say that there’s such a thing as “spiritual blindness,” but I know there is.  I know this as well as I know that there is darkness and light, right and wrong, good and bad.  I know that some things can’t exist together side by side, and that there are some things you can’t bring together because by their very natures they are in direct opposition to each other.  The fact that people can believe that they can involve themselves with the filth of this world, and yet be a part of God’s Kingdom just goes to show that many people are indeed “spiritually blind.”

Hypocrisy is a form of “spiritual blindness” in that it allows people to look at other people through the eyes of  condemnation and judgment, often to the point of damnation, with no thought or ability to look at oneself, and is a complete denial of the truth of God’s Word which is the only real truth.  The fact is that we must make a choice between living for truth or living for ourselves.

Truth, real truth, destroys hypocrisy….

 

A Word of Caution

It saddens me to have to write a post like this, but as someone who loves my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I feel led to post a word of caution to people.  I’m not going to mention any names because I don’t want to prejudice any one person to another.  Recently, I’ve encountered some posts implying that another is lying on their blog, and implying that they’re doing things that aren’t right.  I don’t know whether they are or not.  Personally, I have seen nothing on their blog to give me any reason to think so.

To make this short and sweet, please prayerfully consider what others say about other people.  We cannot know someone’s motive for what they say about another.  Some people are very well-intentioned.  Others are less so…  But, I encourage you to read what the Bible says about gossip and slander.

The way I look at it is this: I take every person on their own terms.  I have no problem with anyone so long as they respect me, what I do, and my right to do it.  I think God entitled us all to have an opinion, but that doesn’t give us the right to say things about others that aren’t true.  I neither support or encourage gossip  or slander on this blog.  If you disagree with something I write, I have no problem with you expressing how you feel about it, so long as you do so respectfully.  But, I want you to know you are under no obligation to read this blog.  You don’t like what I say you are welcome to unsubscribe with no hard feelings on my part.

I encourage you to please, please treat others as you would like to be treated.  If someone makes a comment about someone else on your blog please give both parties fair treatment, and consideration.  Don’t dismiss somebody just because someone else doesn’t like or agree with another.  Base your opinions and judgments about people on your own experience with them;  not on someone else’s.

Try to remember that we are representatives of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and that our blogs are being read by people desperately in need  of our Lord and Savior’s forgiveness and grace.  How will they ever experience that, or even want it, if we don’t show that we have experienced it ourselves and given it to others.