Lying to Hide the Mess
Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:3
While struggling with my last relapse, I still occasionally went to recovery meetings. If asked, I’d lie and say that I’d been clean for a couple years. I hadn’t been clean though. I’d relapsed. But that’s what addicts do. We lie to protect our addiction. We know the right words and we know what to say to placate those around us. I’m doing well. I’m going to meetings. I’ve been clean for two years. Recovery is good.
Most of us have done this. Maybe we’re trapped in an addiction or maybe our marriage is a mess. Whatever it is, we don’t want others to know and so, we lie. We know what to say to present a facade for anyone who is watching. Maybe we do this to protect an addiction or maybe we just do it because we’re embarrassed. We just desperately want to keep others from knowing.
The problem is that the truth eventually reveals itself. I could claim I was clean, but when life fell apart due to my addiction, everyone saw my lie. Oddly, that was the beginning of recovery. I tried to protect myself with deception, but the only way I could get better, was by being honest about my mess. I’ve relapsed. I’m a disaster. I need help.
In today’s passage, Paul taught the Corinthians about the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, who lives inside of all those who truly follow Christ. He said that you would know if someone had the Holy Spirit if they said, “Jesus is Lord”. I’m sure it wasn’t Paul’s intention, but I’d bet there were those who read these words and discovered a secret phrase to say to convince others that they were part of the true church.
Many of us have been there. We believe in the idea of God, but we still follow ourselves. We know what’s expected of us though. We know we’re supposed to say stuff like, “Jesus is Lord”. The problem is that just like in my addiction, our hypocrisy is eventually revealed by our behavior. We can say all the right words, but if we don’t live them, we cannot hide the truth forever. If we follow ourselves, it doesn’t matter what we say in church, our facade will eventually be revealed. If we truly follow Christ, we’ll be honest about our struggles. In our honesty, we find transformation and then our faith is proven by our words and our actions.