If you thought I had ranted before….
Remember the old childhood ditty? Liar, liar, pants on fire!
Or maybe you remember the awful little song made from Revelation 21:8? Revelation, Revelation, 21:8, 21:8, liars go to hell, liars go to hell, burn, burn, burn–burn, burn, burn….
I can’t stand to be lied to.
By a child.
By an adult.
By a government official.
And yet, we live in a culture fueled by lies.
This could easily–given my politics–turn into a political rant. I personally despise the lying hypocrisy we get from local, state, and federal government.
But, that’s not what this is about.
I hate it.
How many lies are we told everyday by popular media and advertising? Buy this brand toothpaste and your sex life is going to be off the charts!
On a blog about grief, life, faith and finding yourself again, I just had to bring up sex. Bet you didn’t think we’d get there, did you?
But it’s true. Everything you can think of buying gets tied to sex. The other day my twelve year old stepson wanted to watch a movie we rented and deleted twenty minutes later. It was awful.
Really awful, and we were right to refuse him permission to watch.
But he kept asking about it. Finally I said “Do you know what adult situations mean in a movie?” His answer? “Yes, I see the commercials about every 15 minutes when I am watching TV.”
It’s funny… But it’s not. A whole generation of kids have been lied to. They think sex is somehow tied to people sitting outside in separate bath tubs!
Woo Hoo! Bring on the fun!
Don’t get me wrong. No prudes here.
But lying is systemic in our culture. We are so accustomed to it we don’t even get offended, bothered, or even all that surprised when we recognize it for what it is.
I guarantee that everybody reading this blog and everybody who will never read it or even know it exists is a liar.
There I said it. Don’t get defensive. Hold off judgment for just a minute, please.
Maybe you haven’t lied to your spouse today or your boss or neighbor or kids. Good for you. The day is not over yet.
But you will lie to somebody. Most likely to yourself if to no one else.
Here’s my all time favorite self delusion/ lie… “Do I look fat in this?” If you have to ask, you have already lied to yourself and are actively looking for somebody to reinforce the lie by lying back at you.
A little bit too close for comfort? It is for me. But we are working on that.
Whoops. That’s a bit of a lie itself considering we hid two boxes of Girl Scout Tagalongs (the best Girl Scout Cookie ever) in our bedroom and devoured one of them in about ten minutes last night–all while calling the cookies medical stress relief. (Hey Sweetie, can we eat the second box tonight? Please?)
It’s ok to laugh now so get it out of your system because here is where the going gets rough…
Can you guess where the most lies are told every week of every year and have been for longer than most of us could ever imagine? (In my not-so-humble opinion)
Can you guess what the lie is?
Would you believe me if I told you we like both to be lied to and want to tell the lie?
The place is church.
The lie is I’m fine.
Liar, liar, pants on fire.
Every Sunday somebody asks how are you doing? And sure, I recognize it is more of a greeting than anything truly about wanting real information–but, in the asking, we expect to hear back I’m fine.
This isn’t just a Sunday phenomenon, but we’ll stay there for the purpose of this blog.
Grieving, hurting, or struggling people–for whatever reason, make us uncomfortable–so for our own little world to be ok, we want to know that others are ok. Even when they are not.
So we lie. We lie to protect others. We lie to protect ourselves.
God help us if we have a stigmatized sin problem–it will be the biggest lie of all. Everybody wants to believe the emperor is wearing new clothes even when it is painfully honest he is not. Nobody wants to acknowledge or be open about the 800 pound Gorilla sitting in the room.
We like church to be sterile, clean, and free of the horror infusing so many of our lives–when it should be the twelve step spiritual, mental, and physical support group for the pain or struggle we so often suffer alone.
Tell the truth.
Stop being so sanctimonious.
Lay off having such great expectations of your fellow traveler.
Welcome those who hurt.
The next day may be your turn to be comforted, helped, and loved…
Please don’t struggle alone. Find that one person or two or three you can share your deepest and darkest heartache and fear with. They will love you for it and through it. And you? You’ll end up loving yourself more.
Jesus said to love your neighbor like yourself. How can you love your neighbor if you don’t love yourself.
No more lies… It’s the right road to take!