Lie, Believe, Repeat

microphone-1159791_640I sat in the spare living room listening to a mother justify her bad behavior.

She stated lie after lie followed by excuses and justifications and each time I quietly responded, “That isn’t true, is it? This is what’s true. You know that’s illegal. You know that’s not safe. You know that’s not right.”

Each time, her listening ten-year-old looked at her accusingly and stated, “I knew it! I told you it can’t be legal for me to ride in the trunk! I knew it wasn’t safe to let that druggie sleep on our couch! I didn’t believe you when you said the doctor would be okay with you taking my medicine but you told me to be quiet. It’s probably not even okay for us to miss school on days when you want to sleep in, is it?”

This mom lied to her family, to authorities, and to herself. She tried to lie to her little boy but, with a few quiet statements from me, he was able to find the courage to embrace the truth. He knew, somewhere deep inside, what the truth looked like but he needed someone else to say it aloud in order to truly reject his mother’s lies.

Have you ever spent time with someone who lied so much and so often you gave up trying to sort the lies from the truth? Someone like that wears you down to where you cry “uncle,” sorely tempted to join them in their version of the world even though you know it isn’t real?

That’s where we are as a society, loved ones. Some lies are so pervasive, have been repeated so often and with such conviction, even those of us who follow the Truth fall prey to the deception. Once we fall prey, we become part of the problem.

Lie, believe, repeat.

Take, for instance, the lies we choose to swallow to justify our silence.

You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? Someone brings up a topic at work or in our social network or around the dinner table. It’s a tough topic. You know what the Bible says about it and you believe what the Bible says about it but everyone else in the conversation – well, the vocal people in the conversation – disagree. If they even take the Bible into consideration, they dismiss it as irrelevant or archaic. Most people around the table or the cubicle or commenting on the loop are passionately espousing opinions you believe are misguided at the very least – sinful and offensive to God at the most.

Speaking up – well, that terrifies you and is sure to cause an uproar – so you choose to believe these lies: “Nothing I say will change anyone’s mind. People don’t change. If I say something, it will just cause hurt feelings and it won’t make any difference anyway. I’ve never been good at being controversial. It’s really best if I just say nothing. Talking doesn’t change anyone’s mind.”

Loved ones, that’s a load of bull we tell ourselves to stay safe but what looks like safety is actually a whole ocean of thin ice.

You know who stayed silent in the New Testament? Take a look:

“Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.” Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent. He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.” Mark 3:1-5

Yeah, that’s right. The stubborn-hearted crowd stayed silent. They held back. Jesus called them out for it. And He’s calling us out for it, too. I wasn’t successful at changing the mother in that living room but she wasn’t the only one listening to me. I helped a ten-year-old trust his own ability to distinguish truth from lies.

When we speak up, we don’t always change the mind of the people talking – but sometimes, we give courage to the people listening.

Yes, it causes an uproar. Yes, it creates discomfort. Yes, sometimes people express disappointment in us or disagree or mock or hate. But the alternative is to join the enemy in the world of illusion he’s trying to convince us all is real.

We think we’re choosing safety but really, we’re hiding behind enemy lines. That’s not safe, it’s stupid, it’s dangerous, sometimes it’s traitorous. The bushes are full of cowards – I know – I’ve been one. But then, I heard a voice speaking truth and it gave me the courage to live out in the open for Christ.

Will you be that voice for someone else? Or will silence be your sin

Do you need courage? So do I. I need it every day and it helps me to interact with others who love the truth. Telling the truth publicly is an adventure I never planned to take. I like comfort. I like making people happy. But God knocked on my door and here I am. You can read about it HERE. Do you want to encourage others? Share this blog. Subscribe and email it to friends. Ask God for courage – He’s an endless well of it. I know, it’s where I get mine.


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    The Conversation

  1. Maxine D says:

    You are disturbing this hobbit – thank you.

  2. Carla Allaire says:

    We re-posted the 50 Shades of Gray yesterday, Lori, and got a firestorm. You ARE indeed disturbing the Hobbits, but THANK GOD for it! If we do not warn the stiff-necked and stubborn people, they will die in their sins, but their blood is on our hands. That is something I just don’t think I could stand. I pray God prick each heart that reads your blogs and at the very LEAST passes them on to others. Souls are in the balance.

  3. Jan says:

    Love this post, Lori – it’s a challenge to us all to re-evaluate our “buy-in” to the lies of this world and the enemy. Thanks!

  4. Lori Jackson says:

    Giving courage to others — never thought about it like that. Also didn’t realize I was hiding behind enemy lines (shudder). Thanks so much for making me aware of that!