You’re Being Lied To

I have a fancy watch.

It tells me all sorts of things, including the weather.  Last Tuesday, it informed me it was a whopping 81 degrees outside!

So I dressed appropriately in one of my summeriest beach-shirts and headed to the church for a meeting.

I turned a lot of heads, because it was only 65 degrees outside.

My watch was lying to me!

I think I’ve got that fixed now, but I don’t know what to do about the rest of the world.

I get this feeling that LOTS of people are lying to me.

Advertisers?  Big time.  I’ll almost never trust something they tell me on a commercial.

Politicians?  Well…yeah.  I’m afraid so.  When you couple these experts at doublespeak with the slipperiness of today’s media, half the time it all sounds like one big lie.

That calls into question lots of things like Facebook Posts and Tweets and all kinds of social media.

And then, I can’t help but think it, but there may be people I know.  Friends, acquaintances, even family who could be lying to me!

I like to think I can trust most people.  A lot of lies are white lies, or lies of omission, or to prevent embarrassment. But it’s true that sometimes we trust someone and we get burned.  We can even lie to ourselves.

For a society built largely on a set of commandments including “don’t bear false witness”, there sure is a lot of false witnessing going on!

If you can’t fully trust your technology, or big business, or government, or media, or even the occasional friend, or even yourself, who does that leave that you can trust?

(Here is where, if this were a children’s sermon, all the kids would say, right on cue:  “Jesus”.)

And that’s a good answer, of course, but let me offer two thoughts first.

If you’re worried that you’re being lied to, here are 2 ways I suggest responding:

  1. Think Critically.  Use your brain.  Gather data.  Sort through a wide range of possibilities.  See where reason takes you.  Once I stepped outside, it didn’t take me long to figure out that my watch was lying to me.  Sometimes the lies are harder to uncover than others, but God gave us minds to help us seek truth.
  2. Employ Faith.  Faith isn’t meant to be a passive feeling, it’s meant to be an active, useful tool for your whole life.  Faith is what makes trust possible even in difficult circumstances.  Blind faith will let you down a scary road (see #1 to avoid that).  Instead, an informed faith will make it so that you can make wise choices and invest your trust where it is warranted, without becoming paranoid or jaded.

I’ll admit there are days when I’ll spin around and wonder if there’s anyone not corrupted by lies.  Anyone?

The answer, of course, is (Okay now, kids, say it loud…) Jesus.  Here’s what he said:

Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  -John 8:31b-32

Holding to Jesus’ teaching involves thinking (#1) and believing (#2).  Instead of dwelling on all the lying, we can place our supreme trust in The Truth Jesus offers, and go from there.

It’s a spiritual attitude adjustment that can change our lives and help transform others.

The Bad News?  You’re being lied to.  (It isn’t close to 81 degrees out there.)

The Good News?  Well, let’s just say,

It’s better than all the Bad put together.

And that ain’t no lie.

Have a great week,

Mitch

Baring False Witness

8742707669_49ffbc0673_b

 

From the website Liespotting.com:

Humans are lied to as many as 200 times a day.
Social psychologist Jerald Jellison of the University of Southern California published this figure in his 1977 book, “I’m Sorry, I Didn’t Mean To, and Other Lies We Love To Tell.” The hard-to-believe figure, which of course includes the many innocent “white lies” we hear each day, was given further credence in a 2002 study by Robert Feldman of the University of Massachusetts, who found that on average, people told two to three lies in a ten-minute conversation.

In short — We’re being lied to.  How does that make you feel?

How many bold face lies come at me in a day?  Maybe I don’t want to know.

Keep in mind, a lot of those lies are to avoid embarrassment, to protect secrets, and to gloss over unpleasantness.

I’m okay with those.

It’s the other ones that make me furious.

If I find out someone has been hurtfully and deceitfully dishonest to my face, I’m apt to push them out of my life.

At least until I cool off.  And am apologized to.

“Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness.”  It’s a pretty serious commandment when you think about it.

How can we build a society if we don’t have some degree of honesty in place?

How can we build the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth?

Shame, shame, shame.

Ahem.  Um.  Can I be honest?

I’ve told some doozies in my day.

I’ll stop if you stop.

Not the little white ones.  I think we need those.

Oh, and that line above where I said I’d stop if you stop?

My fingers were crossed.

But seriously, folks.

Lying is a hard habit to break.

Honesty is a spiritual discipline, and we need help.

What we need is the Spirit’s help.

The Spirit of Grace…

and Truth,

to help us at baring our false witnesses,

and clothing us with righteousness.

So be it.

Have a great week,

Mitch

directory-1187128_960_720