28 September 2009

Faking is Lying

How many times recently have you been asked “How are you?” and you answer “Fine!” with a smile? “They don’t want to know how it really is,” you think. “I’m protecting them from the uncomfortable truth,” you tell yourself. Well, guess what? Faking is lying.

There is another kind of lying called deception. Let me give you an example. “Where’s your hubby” your mother-in-law asks when she phones on a Saturday morning. You don’t want her to know the ugly details of your troubled marriage, so you answer “Oh, he went out to get something from the store.” It’s a true answer- but you neglect to say that he left three hours ago to get said item, and that you suspect he won’t be home until after everyone’s asleep that night. Telling parts of the truth isn’t telling the truth.

John Piper describes this as “a devious and subtle manipulation of language to conceal the truth by saying true things. Devious people don’t usually lie, they deceive by the way they use the truth. Some people know they are doing it, and others are so conformed to the spirit of the age that they don’t know they are doing it. People that don’t have a deep, secure, satisfied, rest of soul in the living water of Jesus’ holy fellowship tend to slide toward subtle uses of language designed to cloud truth with words, even true words."

You aren’t protecting anyone by deceiving them. You are only lying. You might find some friendly shoulders or knowledgeable mentors if only you told the truth. I’m not saying that when an acquaintance at the grocery store asks you how it’s been, that you go into a mournful monologue. But do not deceive the people who love you and think they know you. When the people who seem closest to you don’t know the depth of what’s going on, deception is most likely at work, and it comes from your pride.

C.J. Mahaney, former pastor of Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland, says in his book Humility: True Greatness “Pride is when sinful human beings aspire to the status and position of God and refuse to acknowledge their dependence on Him. Humility is honestly assessing ourselves in light of God’s holiness and our sinfulness.” Are you so proud that you are afraid to admit that your marriage needs nothing less than the hand of God to survive?

I thought I could just do a massive cover-up for my friends and family. Surely, this was just a rough spot in our marriage and it would pass- which might have been true if I hadn’t been saying it for a year. I was piling up lie after lie in a wall between me and God- no wonder my prayers had little affect on my marriage. I thought I could handle it, even with all the evidence to the contrary! I was terrified that someone would know what my marriage was like, and they would see me as a failure, and they would judge me accordingly. I lived in fear that someone would find out. CJ says “Where there is anxiousness, pride is at the root of it. When I am experiencing anxiety, the ROOT ISSUE is that I’m trying to be self-sufficient.”

In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.
Psalm 10:4

For the sins of their mouths, or the words of their lips, let them be caught in their pride.
Psalm 59:12