Jeremiah 17:9 "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can understand it?"
First of all, we don’t LIKE the truth. I learned at an early age the problem: being honest has its unpleasant consequences. It’s better to tell "half-truths", or outright lies, and avoid all that unpleasantness.
Secondly, I really don’t TRUST the truth. I often actually believe that lying is the way to make things go more smoothly for me. If you are thinking this isn’t you, let me offer some scenarios for you to gauge yourself by:
What I do: flatter my boss. Why I do it: so he or she will like me. What people call it: ‘brown-nosing’. What God calls it: lying to my boss.
What I do: exaggerate things in my life. Why I do it: so people will admire me. What people call it: ‘stretching the truth’. What God calls it: lying to others.
What I do: live beyond my means. Why I do it: so people will respect me. What people call it: ‘the American way’. What God calls it: living a lie.
What is the most tragic "death" in my life due to my lies? My marriage? My conscience? My career? My intimacy and peace?
As a follower of Jesus Christ, how about my personal witness? The courtroom won’t listen to the testimony of a perjured witness – neither will the world. My co-worker won’t believe my words about Christ if they can’t believe my numbers on my expense account. Why would the Lord use me as a witness if I won’t tell the truth? Can God trust me in the small things? If not, He will never give me greater things to do for Him because I have shown myself to be untrustworthy (Matthew 25:21).
Maybe it’s time each of us faces the music – we need to choose God’s desire for our lives and trust Him by living a truthful, sincere life. Max Lucado, in his book ‘Just like Jesus’, tells us where the phrase ‘Face the Music’ comes from – it’s very applicable to our discussion:
"Many years ago a man conned his way into the orchestra of the emperor of China although he could not play a note. Whenever the group practiced or performed, he would hold his flute against his lips, pretending to play but not making a sound. He received a modest salary and enjoyed a comfortable living. Then one day the emperor requested a solo from each musician. The flutist got nervous. There wasn’t enough time to learn the instrument. He pretended to be sick, but the royal physician wasn’t fooled. On the day of his solo performance, the impostor took poison and killed himself. The explanation of his suicide led to a phrase that we now use often in our English language: ‘He refused to face the music.’"
Ed Croteau is a resident of Lee’s Summit and hosts a weekly study in Lees Summit called "Faith: Substance and Evidence." He can be reached with your questions through the Lee’s Summit Tribune at Editor@lstribune.net.