There is no such thing as a “little white lie”

A lie is a lie is a lie.  Calling it a “little white lie” just makes it sound cute and innocent.  That does not change the fact that it is a lie.  Calling it a “little white lie” does not make it any less a lie than any other lie.  Scripture does not define lies by severity.  It does not call some lies acceptable or “little white” or any other term.  A lie is a lie is a lie.

I was trapped in the stronghold of lying but, by the grace and mercy of God, I have broken free.  My lying originated as survival.  I am not saying that excuses it, I am just explaining the origins and what God taught me.  As a child, lying kept me from getting hit.  My mind was constantly weighing things, deciding what would make Dad angry and what would not.

Once that habit had been formed, at a very young age, I was trapped in the stronghold of habitual lies.  Once the habit is formed, it is difficult to break.  As a young adult, I frequently “colored” things to keep from looking foolish.  Played hooky from work, and made up symptoms, or used some nonspecific lie “not feeling well” which was not true.

There was a time when, If a friend asked me if I want to go to dinner, or a movie, or whatever, and I was broke, I would make up a story.  I couldn’t tell someone that I made a mistake in my checking account or that I made a foolish, impulsive purchase.  In the past, I would have made up something else I had to do.  Suppose I told them I had to go see someone who was sick.  Then, they run into that friend and ask if they are feeling better.  It’s exhausting thinking up lies that won’t get me caught, and trying to remember all of the “cover stories” so I don’t get tripped up when I see that person again.

It’s so FREEING and so much simpler to just tell the truth.  “I’m broke till payday”.  It doesn’t hurt as much as I thought it would to admit my failings and weaknesses.  Transparency is GOOD for relationships.  I’m not saying that we need to tell everyone everything about us. “I’m broke until payday” is honest without revealing what is none of the other person’s business.  Just because someone is nosy and prying and asks for details, doesn’t mean they need to know.  Learning to say, “I don’t want to go into details” or “that’s private” or “that’s really none of you business” has helped me a great deal.

Once the Lord showed me that lying displeases Him, I spent time in prayer and he showed me where my lying originated and helped me break free from that stronghold.

Proverbs 6:16-19
“There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil,  a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.”

God HATES a lying tongue.  Notice that it does not say “a lying tongue (LITTLE WHITE LIES EXCEPTED).”  Any lie displeases the Lord.

Lies create damage in many other ways.  Have you ever caught someone else lying?  It becomes impossible to believe anything they say.  When it is someone close to you, it hurts.  It is a betrayal of trust.  They don’t trust you with the truth.  You can’t trust them to tell the truth.  Trust is broken.  That is so very damaging to any relationship, be it spouses, siblings, friends, parent/child, etc.

Let’s stop being cutesy and calling them “little white lies”.  Let’s call them what they are.  LIES.  Admitting the problem is the first step to getting freed from the stronghold of habitual lying.  Break free and live in truth!

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Unchained from the “Love Idol” – I feel FREE!

I recently finished reading the book “The Love Idol” by Jennifer Dukes Lee.  That book was transformational in my life.

I have often wondered why I am so crushed when I receive criticism, especially when I believe it be undeserved.  I’ve wondered why I feel a reflexive need to defend myself against criticism.

I have felt elated when complemented, praised, given an “atta-girl” by a boss, coworker, friend.  However, it does not last.  Soon, I am wondering when someone will notice my efforts again.

This book opened my eyes.  I had made approval from humans an idol.  It was too important to me.   God’s approval is what matters, and scripture tells us we are PRE-APPROVED!  Praise Jesus!

“We twist our desire for approval into a false god.  Instead of resting in the love and approval of an unseen God, we chase after the temporary pleasures of human validation.”  Love Idol – Introduction

This realization was so freeing to me.  I need not seek approval.  I need not feel down when I don’t get the appreciation I believe my efforts deserve.  I need not feel crushed when criticized.  I need not feel compelled to defend myself against criticism.

That does not mean it is never appropriate to defend oneself against criticism.  I am saying that I need not feel compelled as though if the criticism were left undefended it left a stain on me.  I can defend myself much more calmly and rationally when I do not feel compelled, when I know that it’s OK if I am unsuccessful in defending myself, because I am APPROVED BY CHRIST!

1 Thessalonians 2:4 (ESV) says, “ but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.”

When I defend myself, I need to speak to please God.  God knows whether I am deserving of the criticism.

The need for approval really can become an addiction.  We receive praise then in an hour, a day, a week, we are wondering when someone will notice us again.  I did X.  Why didn’t anyone notice?  There is always something for which we crave approval.  The cycle is never-ending.  The beast will never be satisfied.  The elation we receive from approval is temporary, then we need another fix.  Just like alcohol, drugs, sex, food, and other things.  It makes us feel good, but only for a while.  Then, we want more.  We crave more.  We convince ourselves (with a lot of help from the Enemy) that we NEED more.

Once we look UP instead of OUT, and realize that we have a never-ending font of love, acceptance and approval, we need never crave it again!  Once we realize that all of the love, joy and “feeling good” we could ever want or need is available to us, flowing from an outrageously loving God, we are freed from thinking we will obtain happiness from alcohol, drugs, sex, food, or any other temporary thing.

“Define yourself radically as one beloved by God.  This is the true self.  Every other identity is illusion.” Brannan Manning

I am beloved by God.  I am accepted by God.  I am APPROVED by God.

I still catch myself wondering whether people will approve of a choice I make.  However, I realize it far sooner and can squash it.  I look to God.  Whisper a quick prayer.  Focus on whether God would approve my choice.

I feel so FREE!  Praise God!  I have been unchained from the love idol!

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