It's not hard to tell the truth when we are talking about someone else.
It's not hard to tell "Good Lies" to people we admire. (Good lies: flattery or pushing the truth to the limits so the other person will feel better or to inspire them.)
It's not hard to tell the truth when we are trying to teach someone a new talent.
It's especially not hard to tell the truth when it really is the truth!
So why is it so hard to tell ourselves the truth?!?!?
I like being a detective with my friends and family. I like using spy glasses, eye glasses, magnifying glasses and microscopes to try to find every smidgen of good I can in their lives.
I love watching their eyes when I extend a truthful compliment. I like knowing I've lifted their spirits for a while when I point out some good that I see and they don't.
But then....with some.....the lying begins. They shuffle or moan and look down at their feet. It's not the "awe shucks" routine - it's the "you don't know what you are talking about" routine. It seems that some people have the opinion that self-worth is all or nothing.
Either I'm perfect and deserve every compliment I get or I'm flawed and therefore I'm nothing.
How crazy is that!
Everyone is flawed. Everyone has problems. Everyone at one time or another has blown it big time. I have - and you are lying if you say you haven't.
We can't play percentages either. A person who likes to play percentages thinks that if he is good 90% of the time - then and only then will he deserve a compliment. But what about the person who makes it 85% of the time? What about 75% or maybe 79 and 3/4 %? No, percentages don't work either.
What about the person that thinks his past or his family determines whether or not he deserves a compliment for his achievements? "My mother embarrasses me. Maybe I'm just like her." Or maybe they think, "I used to be a lazy person and that's why I'm not as successful as I should be."
Other people like to think they can control the world. "If I had been nicer to that person they wouldn't have hurt me." Sorry. Probably would have happened anyway. Besides, you are not responsible for someone else's sin.
Some people even like to do the hindsight thing and beat themselves up for not being perfect in every situation.
All of that nonsense is crazy too.
TV news said that in a recent study 92% of Americans felt sad and guilty. I am sure some aren't using wisdom in their lives and maybe a little sadness and guilt feelings are proper. I believe that percentage is quite small. Most of us work very hard to do what's right. Most of us - including all of my readers I'm sure - try to make the best of our lives.
Do you feel guilty and sad? Do you feel like life isn't worth living? Do you feel like your presence on this big planet isn't worth very much?
Don't lie ! Take an honest look at your life and tell the truth.
Get a piece of paper and put it where you can grab it for a quick thought. Make a commitment to take a microscope to your life. For one week write down everything good about your life, your body, your relationships and your work. No cheating and No lying. See yourself as God would see his favorite child. A little flawed but his favorite nonetheless. Start by looking in the mirror. Let's start with me.
Hair - it would be totally white if I didn't color it. That means I'm old and don't deserve a compliment, right? NO. That would be a lie. Yes, my hair is white - but I do color it and don't I look nice? Yes! I've done a wonderful job with it and it looks much better.
Wrinkles - I've got plenty of those. Awe...but look at why I have those wrinkles. Around the eyes it's called laugh lines. Isn't it great that I've had things to smile and laugh about.
Yikes! There's a lot on the forehead. That's from stress...pain...worry. Hum...It could also be from wisdom. I've furrowed my brow many times while talking to people. You see, I care and when I care my face gets involved. Yep. I'll call those wrinkles wisdom. And if I had the choice, I would rather have my "wisdom wrinkles" than to be another perky Brittany Spears.
Double chin. Now that's hard. I think it's very unsightly. But maybe it says I'm successful. At least successful enough that I've had plenty to eat. This Ole' gal hasn't missed a lot of meals.
Hands. Oh. Wrinkled, dry, cracked, spotted and rough in places. Hum..The shape and color is just like my parents. You know what I think of every time I hold their hand? I think of all the work they did for me. All the times they sewed or painted a sign or rubbed my face or held me and prayed for me. Maybe my children think those thoughts when they see my hand. I choose to look at these hands and say, "Beautiful!" These hands have known love of the greatest magnitude. These hands have been held by loved ones, worked for my children and greeted with a smile and handshake by my friends.
Get my point. We ALL need to stop lying to ourselves.
Television, movies, news, magazines all scream at us and want us to believe that unless you are rich, beautiful and young you are not successful. That's nuts! Don't believe the lie!
"That's fluff Debbie. You don't know the trouble I'm in. You don't know how depressed I am. I'm not going to get that promotion, degree, new house, vacation. I'm a failure. I'm older now and most of my dreams haven't come true. Maybe none of my dreams have come true. Seeing my hair in a different way doesn't really matter."
In Zechariah 8:16 (NRSV) the Lord of hosts declared: "These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another, render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace."
The essential idea of truth in the Bible is not conformity to some external standard but faithfulness or reliability. In the case of God, of course, faithfulness or reliability is not measured by any external standard. God is the standard. God's truth (faithfulness or reliability) is the truth that is basic for all other truth, (Deut. 7:9-10). Holman's Commentary
"So what are you saying Debbie?" What I'm saying is that we should be very careful about going around lying about God's creations. When we constantly berate ourselves and avoid looking at the good that we have become, we are spitting in God's eyes. We are telling him..."I didn't reach the goal I wanted. Your goals don't matter. So I'm a failure."
That's not true. It's not OUR goals that are important. It's GOD's goals for us. God is the standard. God's truth is the basis for everything we are.
So the question is..."What is God's truth for you?"
Did you fail at some project? Was it all your fault or did others lend a hand in the failure. Did you do what you felt was right but their failure meant you missed the mark? Then probably, according to God's standard - You are very successful. They are the problem and God will deal with them in due time. Remember, you are responsible for you. You are NOT responsible for the sins of others. You may have a mission that God wants you to do but their souls, their obligation to do right is between them and God.
Stop lying. Stop saying that because your child doesn't love you that you are a failure. Did you love him? Did you do all you could to help him? Did you provide for him, pray for him, teach him? At what point does this stop being your failure and become his?
I watched Murder She Wrote last night. I love mysteries. The protagonist thought that her husband had died 20 years before in a boating accident. They showed her bossing everyone around and controlling her daughter. It didn't take much to dislike this woman. No one was safe from her criticism. Turned out that her husband didn't die in the boating accident. When he swam to shore he simply took the opportunity to get out of a miserable situation.
Was he a failure? Was he a bad father? Was he to blame for everything?
I don't think so and neither did Jessica Fletcher. Everyone agreed that he was not to blame for wanting out. The person to blame was the controlling wife who drove everyone away.
Please be encouraged. Take a "TRUTHFUL" look at yourself. Don't lie. Look for all your good qualities and don't let other people try to convince you that you are on the bottom of life. Save that position for people like Hitler and Jack the Ripper.
You my friend are a wonderful creation of God. He has a purpose for your life and he loves you with all his heart. Don't run from Him. Run TO Him. You will find arms open wide and a smile that could light up the world.
When you feel his arms wrap around you I promise you will hear him say, "I'm so glad to see you. I'm so proud of you. I love you more than you know."
God loves you,