The Lies We Tell Ourselves
"When Jesus saw Nathaniel approaching, he said of him, 'Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false [an honest man].'"1
For several years I used to facilitate support groups. I remember one woman who repeatedly told us what a good husband she had while all the while we knew he was mistreating her something terribly. Over and over she would also tell us how honest she was.
Finally, I said to her as kindly as I could, "Florence (not her real name), if I have to tell you what a gentleman I am, you can be pretty sure I'm not. If I have to tell you how humble I am, you know I've already lost it. And if I have to keep telling you how honest I am …."
Wow, she got really mad at me and stormed out of the room—which proved my point. Fortunately she came back and we remained friends.
It's amazing the lies we tell ourselves and the amount of denial we are in—in order to avoid facing the painful reality of the truth.
Jeffrey Gitomer agrees. He said, "My experience has shown me that if you have to say what you are, you probably aren't. Think about that for a moment. 'I'm honest,' 'I'm ethical,' even 'I'm the boss,' or 'I'm in charge,' often indicates just the opposite."
What freedom and release we find when we have the courage to admit our faults, sins, and problems—not as a means to put ourselves down—but as a means to quit the merry-go-round trap of denial, and grow in love and maturity. It's amazing what being honest and becoming real will do for improving our relationships—both with God and others! Denial is a mask to hide behind but masks can't relate. Only real people can. Furthermore, only God can help us to the degree that we are honest with ourselves and with Him. It's the only way to live life to the full!
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be open-faced, honest and real—with myself, others, and above all with You. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. John 1:47 (NIV).