Oh my, lying is hard and skilled work!

Let me tell you about an incident I heard of recently, from a friend:

Last week she put a small home up for rent. Here, more-or-less, is the interchange she had with a prospective tenant:

Hello, I am calling about the house you have for rent.

Yes?

How much is it?

$550. May I ask who would be living in the home?

Me, my mother, and sometimes my granddaughter.  May I come and see inside the house? I would like to arrange a time so I can find someone to drive me there. I have had a stroke and am no longer able to drive myself.

I see. That is too bad. Could you please tell me first, though, how much income you have per month?

$1150. (!)

I am so sorry, but that simply won’t be enough for you to live there comfortably. Thanks for calling though. Bye!

A few minutes later the phone rings again. A phone number she had not seen before:

Hello. I am calling about the house you have for rent.

Yes.

How much is it?

$550. May I ask who would be living in the home?

Me, my mother, and sometimes my granddaughter.

Hmmm….Sounds familiar…But she plows on…

How much income do you have coming in per month?

$4000…

She definitely sounds like the first caller with adapted information…

Didn’t you call me a few minutes ago?

No!…Listen, I would like to come and see the house. Could we arrange a time so I can find someone to drive me?

Oh, do you not have a license?

Don’t you remember I told you I had a stroke?   

Fail! Bad lying!

We all lie, don’t we? It is impossible to not emulate the Father of Lies at least sometimes. But if a person wants to lie systematically I understand it is really hard to do.

Spies, and I suppose criminals, are told to keep their lying to a minimum, to incorporate as much truth as possible in cover stories, as it is so difficult to remember fictitious ‘facts’. And I understand that detectives try to get people to talk as much as possible as they often can’t help but incriminate themselves with inconsistencies.

When my children were small, I prayed, as I am sure you did, that they would be discovered in their lies. And I still pray that God will uncover the deception in all of our hearts. We adults do not hug lying close to our breasts anymore as a deliberate lifestyle, but that certainly doesn’t mean we don’t inadvertently adopt comfortable lies.

Even as Christians, it is so hard to desire truth in every crack and crevice of our being. It is quite simply scary, isn’t it?

To really see the truth about ourselves, others, the world at large…

To trust God to help us handle that truth with grace, strength, and dignity….

O God, make me captive to your truth no matter what.

“Bend your force to break, blow, burn and make me new.” (John Donne: Holy Sonnet #14)

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