My First Lie
They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. Titus 1:16
Several years ago, we added dormers to our roof as an architectural feature. Though I liked the way they looked, I felt they were inherently dishonest as we did not have an upstairs. Like a comb-over, the dormers were false advertising, claiming to be something on the outside that was not true on the inside. This bothered me.
This is the same situation Paul spoke of in today’s passage. Describing hypocrites who claim to be one thing but act as another, He said such people were detestable, unfit for any good work. Claiming faith, but living for self, they were spiritually paralyzed by their double-life.
I have been there. My faith, is sometimes as a comb-over. The façade may be painfully obvious as my actions betray me, but still, I try to pull off the charade.
We all do this at times. We claim faith but then live how we want. It is not that we are maliciously duplicitous. It is just that we want to follow Christ in theory, but in practice, we follow self. Then, we must build a web of lies and half-truths to shield our conscience.
In such a condition, the first lie is always to myself. I could not live with myself if I truly saw what I was doing, so, I justify, rationalize and lie to myself. God wants me to be happy, right? I deserve it. Just one taste. I’m not hurting anyone. God will forgive . . .
Like our dormers, I claim a one reality while living another. I am painfully aware that while I was offended by the duplicity of those dormers, I was living a secret life of addiction. I had built a literal and figurative house of lies.
I must continually ask myself if there is a discrepancy between what I claim to believe and my behavior. If this makes me uncomfortable, it absolutely should. If I truly want God and life, then I must stop lying to myself and do whatever it takes to abandon my hypocritical behavior.