Yesterday my husband and I were returning from a fun date night in the snow – after having gone to Taco Bell and then Starbucks for a cup of coffee – we were returning home when we landed on such an interesting subject – I just HAD to write a blog article about it.
We were talking about something we had seen the night before on an episode of one of our favorite shows, “House”. In this episode, House was addressing a group of grade school kids – and said to them, ‘Everyone lies’.
We all do it – we say we don’t – but we do. Even Bill Cosby in his book, “Bill Cosby Himself”, said – ‘I love it when people will say that they LOVE children because they are so truthful. The only time children tell the truth is when they’re in pain’. So true – children learn to be manipulative from a very early age – we all have done it. We know how to twist the truth to get our way – blame someone else when something is broken – lie about being sick so we get to stay home from school – or to watch a special program on TV.
We learn it as children and then get better at it when we are grown. Oh I don’t mean terrible lies – but everyone tells little white lies – and mostly they are harmless. But is it ever right to tell a lie?
What about telling a lie to spare someone’s feelings? We all have done it. A good friend gets a really bad haircut – or a new outfit and they ask you point-blank – “How do I look?” You wouldn’t hurt your friend for the world – and so even if it’s not great – even really bad – you lie and say, “I think you look great!” Which you know you don’t mean – but you love them and wish to spare them. You say, “I was protecting them”.
And let’s face it. Sometimes the cold hard truth – can be very damaging. There are those that seem to take great pleasure in doing this. You know the people I mean – the black and white folk who see NO GRAY and have to tell it like it is – even being brutally honest – because – hey – it’s the truth! Usually those folks are fine with giving it – but not so great at receiving it.
Is it okay to lie a little – when it’s to protect someone? Their delicate and fragile feelings? What about when it’s to protect yourself? What then?
We all have some pretty interesting conversations and thoughts going on in our heads that no one can see and hear. It would be really humiliating to have it exposed at times – because besides you and God – no one hears and sees what is going on inside.
There have been times when my husband wants to know what’s going on there – I think he may even be afraid to ask – in this new season we are in of ‘absolute honesty’ – but still I am selective about what I tell him – I don’t wish to hurt him – so I withhold the ‘truth’ a lot of times or dummy it down. I’m sure he does this for me as well. Everyone does this. We would be SCARED TO DEATH to know what it is lurking in everyone’s minds. This is why I keep a journal. They are my private thoughts – reserved for myself. I don’t want anyone reading it – nor should anyone. They would misunderstand – these are my thoughts alone.
I believe that’s why people write their thoughts down – it is a way of getting them out – a way to reflect and pray – a way to allow the love of Jesus to renew and refresh – validate and kiss the ideas, questions and inspirations that come from living, failing, hurting and struggling and then ultimately finding that in doing so – brings perspective and healing – and a joy to begin again each new day. They are not meant for another human being – who could get their feelings hurt – misunderstand the heart of what’s being thought about and so on.
If you’ve ever been exposed – or had things you’ve said in a journal – or to a special friend come out – to another person completely out of context – then you know the pain in which I am referring. Those thoughts that were not meant for others to see – But that were the internal questioning, searching and struggling that was meant for someone you trust and for God – to help and bring perspective your troubled and questioning soul.
Can we always be completely transparent with what we are thinking and feeling? I don’t think we can – nor do I think it’s wise. First of all – not everyone knows us well enough for us to empty our thoughts out to them. I believe there is a certain wisdom in being cautious and even guarded about subjects that are dicey and sensitive. I know for me – I will never reveal things about myself to someone who I cannot trust with my life – words have an ugly way of coming back when I have not been wise and the truth can come back to bite me – my own words of authenticity – can be perceived as dangerous and rebellious to those who do not understand my heart – and motive.
So when do we reveal? When do we spare? I believe we need to be wise, cautious, loving and encouraging to those around us and in our world. I believe that not every random thought needs to be said. I believe in discretion. But I also believe in being me – and not letting fear of what has been revealed or what may be revealed in the future about me and my words and thoughts – prevent me from being who I really am – and steal my joy.
This is a daily balancing act. My thoughts and feelings – my internal dialogue, questions and musings that go on inside my head.
And as for the truth – we all tell it – at least our version of it. And if we’re really honest we would have to admit that we ‘spare’ way more than we ‘reveal’. And sometime the only time we ever really tell the real truth in regard to another person – is when they are in danger, hurting or in trouble – and we need to intervene on their behalf.
Lord help me to work on me – to make me more like you – no hidden agenda – no personal gain. Help me to love like you do – to be good, honest, kind and giving. To live a life of integrity – but also of graciousness with all of those entrusted to me – just like you are gracious and kind to me – telling me the truth in such a way that it helps me – doesn’t hurt me – that corrects and convicts me to live better and want to be an example of your love to others. The AMAZING thing is this: You know me – and all my thoughts and still you accept me just the way I am. That is freedom. Help me to model this behavior to those around me. Help me accept people just the way they are – no questions – no opinions – no judgment.
This is the only way to live. And that’s the truth.