Rev. Molly Simpson is the campus pastor at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection West.
Lies lead to other lies. Have you noticed?
Why yes, I’ve completed the proposal. I emailed it… didn’t you get it? Oh, no? Well, I’m out of pocket for the next few hours (finishing said proposal) but will be delighted to email it to you again when I can get online. …now to call my co-worker to let them know I have had a family emergency so I can ditch the meeting and finish the proposal…
Maybe you see the way that we lie to one another about our happiness, our perfect families, our problem-free lives in a way that puts pressure on a whole society of people to act like we’ve got it all together in suburbia, USA (to my loft-dwelling friends, I’m guessing it’s no better downtown).
Think about the last time you lied–little or big–and the impact it had. Did it help you save your own skin? Did it keep you from having to speak hard, truthful words? Did it help you (or your family, or your company) come out ahead of someone else?
I reflect upon my own answer to that question, and I’m disgusted. It’s too easy to skew the truth a bit in a way that makes me look better, but it isn’t right. Today’s readings from Jeremiah 5 drive this point home. Verses 1 and 2 point to the prevalance of lying in Jerusalem, and I’m sure a similar lament could rise up today. Then Jeremiah’s words in verse 3 cut right to heart–“LORD, do not your eyes look for truth?”
I don’t believe that God makes rules and commandments for fun. They are like many of the rules given by a loving parent who has our safety, best interest, and most fulfilled life in mind. Think “no dating before you are 15,” or “you aren’t allowed to eat just ice cream for dinner,” or “don’t text and drive.”
We aren’t supposed to lie, says God. When people lie, people get hurt. We decieve ourselves. We make a fool of the one who believes us. We gain power at the expense of truth. This was true for Aladdin, for Jafar, for those mentioned in Jeremiah 5:26-29, and it’s true for us.
While this all seems like a bit of a downer, here’s the good news… it’s a new day (and the LORD’s mercies are new each morning)! May we give pause before we tell a “little white lie,” make a false excuse, or blatanly distort the truth, and may we be found to have spoken and lived honestly today. May God’s blessings be upon you as you do!
Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.