We cover ourselves in lies, I do it, you do it and we both know it. It doesn’t make us different, it makes us the same, what sanctifies us, what sets us apart from the lost is our desire not to, to be completely open and honest with all we meet.
Think here for a moment on the Samaritan woman our Lord met at the well while His disciples went to get some food, (John 4:7) when He told her to go and get her husband, she said she did not have one, which in the strictest sense of the word true was true, but she was married several times before and was now living with another guy. Since our Lord knew these facts before He asked them, when the woman answered, did she lie. How much of the entirety of the truth was He looking for, why ask the woman a question that not only He knew the answer to, because it gave her, and us, an opportunity to understand just what a lie is. Today we call them half-truths, not expounding completely to hide certain parts of the answer, not embellishing, but not exactly being truthful.
We lie in this way because of different reasons, how necessary is it for the one asking the question to know the answer, in a way, are they just curious, or nosey, if you like, or is the question necessary for a particular reason. The main reason seems to be a lack of trust, something that is of course earned, and everything in this area is based upon the reasoning for the question. You would not tell a known thief your bank account numbers, but that is not lying, that my friends it is wise discernment, but what of the one who questions you about personal matters, what if the one asking is a brother in Christ, or even your spouse of many years. There is the crux of the issue, it does not matter the relationship, there are certain things that we have and always will lie about, or as we have named it here, offer half-truths, the same as the woman at the well.
So then, the real reason behind these lies? Go ask the two hiding behind the tree over there, the ones with leaves sewn together for clothing, for a covering for their shame. If someone asks you a question that you feel shame over, you have two options, three perhaps, you can lie, give a half-truth if you prefer to call it that, you can speak the truth to them in its entirety, or you can do what is more rare today, you can tell them that it is none of their business. Perhaps in a politer way, if you are so inclined, but the verbiage matters only in the emotional context, the need to know would need to be expounded upon. Think again about the Samaritan woman, she had never met this man before, there was a stranger at the well, and not only a stranger, but a son of Jacob, why lie to Him, why cover up something in this manner. “Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.” (Jer. 17:5)
What others know about us they can use against us, we cover ourselves in lies because of shame, and to trust another with this shame is a great feat indeed. It is so ingrained within us not to trust that it can override nearly every other aspect of our lives, it brings pride to its knees, it brings to light the lust of the flesh, and even if it is only one instance, it can damage relationships for an entire lifetime. “But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out.” (Numb. 32:23) Born-again believers have little choice in these matters, the question they must lay heavy on their hearts is since Almighty God knows every single thing about them, for nothing is hidden from Him, (Luke 8:17) who else needs to know.
Therein is the discerning wisdom of the spiritually mature Christian, the answer to those individuals who ask the questions that will either cause us to lie, or to give the truth in its entirety when it is not needed at that moment is this, “That is not a concern of yours.” But now we have posed another dilemma, have we not, that we will see ourselves as rude, possibly offensive, as uncaring towards the one who is questioning us. If every sin you have ever committed has been forgiven at the cross, (Col. 2:14) if you are constantly aware of the promise of 1 John 1:9, then what difference does it make the question, because of shame. Because we will not forgive ourselves, because many are more concerned with others perceptions of them instead of the perception of Christ in them. I will pose a scenario here for you, and I will offer no resolve to it, if a wife of many years has an affair with another man, and her husband never finds out about it, who will suffer the most. The loving husband remains devoted, the family unit stays intact, life remains as it is perceived to be.
We cover ourselves in lies my friends, you know it, I know it, the Lord God Almighty knows it. Past lies offer opportunity for forgiveness, self and pride are placed upon the altar when they are brought into the Light. How others see us is only as we desire them to see us, we can manipulate reality in this way, the One we serve never has and never will lie, and He can see through to the truth of who we are. The question is simple, are you still concealed by the sewn together leaves, or are you prepared to face your shame, taking the consequences for your actions, no matter how they arrive, for the privilege of living in the Light, in the truth.