Have you ever had your integrity called into question and felt pressured to give the answer that was expected rather than the actual truth? Like most people, my child has been challenged in the past in telling the truth when he thinks he is going to get into trouble. (Please don’t act like you have never done it before.) Today my child told me that he lied to me because he told me what I wanted to hear.
I calmly told the child to get back in the car and asked him questions to make him think about his statement. Needless to say that he left the car feeling justified in his statement and hurt that I would not accept his previous truth or current truth. This situation sent me into prayer asking God how to help my son but of course God turned it into a lesson for me.
How many times have we told people a version of the truth so that we wouldn’t have to hurt their feelings or disappoint them? How many times have we told people a version of the truth so that we wouldn’t have to fully explain our faith to a non-believer? I mean would Jane really understand that you left your job for the unknown because God told you to do it? I know if you are as honest as I had to be with myself I have been and am guilty of doing just what my son did this morning. I told someone what they wanted to hear because I couldn’t see how they would accept the truth.
God revealed to me other things about this situation as well. People often lie for love or respect. They don’t want to be guilty of rocking the clichéd boat. It even goes deeper. We lie to ourselves so that we can keep the peace with others all the while we are missing out on what is really in our hearts to do. We tell ourselves that we cannot do something because it’s not the right time, the right amount of resources, or the right people and so on. We lie to ourselves to spare ourselves of the truth of possible rejection and non-reciprocated love.
We lie for the truth like my son not for deception sake but to give something in return for continued love and respect. The messed up part about lying to tell the truth is that it’s a lie and the truth will be revealed in time. Your desire to follow your dream will come through your performance at work eventually. Your dream of starting back to school will show in your interactions with others who are degreed because you will overcompensate for your lack. Your lack of love for your partner will begin to leak out everywhere when you get sick of lying for him/her as they continue to show that they don’t love you as much as you loved them. It’s over but you keep lying to yourself.
I don’t know what God is going to give me to share with my son to help him understand this lesson better but I do know what I plan on doing in the very near future. I need to correct a lie that I told for the sake of the truth and pray that the person can understand. If not I did what I was supposed to do. No more lying for the truth.
Just another day’s journey of learning the effects of lying for the truth. Peace.