A character I knew on a construction jobsite once ripped his jeans in an total underwear exposing way. Nobody knew, and he made sure they didn’t find out, by having me bring him his jacket to cover up with and working really carefully the entire rest of the shift (While he knew perfectly well I was going to grin at him all day, he trusted me not to rat him out to the rest of the crew, who would not spare his dignity. Construction work can be psychologically challenging…). Anyway, all day he had to be very cautious bending over.
A life built on lies, or on any sin that can’t bear exposure is terribly fragile that way. Another gentleman of my acquaintance once told me how horrible his previous life had been. He’d always been the toughest guy, picking bar fights and scrapping with anybody over anything. “I couldn’t walk down the street without being afraid.” he said. “I never knew if the next guy who came along was somebody that owed me for the beating I had given him six months ago and forgotten all about.”
Similarly, a woman told me how terrible it was to grow up with an alcoholic parent. The worst thing was all the covering up for them that had to be done. They could never have friends over. Constant hushing up of the truth and hiding what was happening meant she had no real relationships.
Build your life on a lie? You won’t have to wait until it goes viral or someone blackmails you to be miserable. You already are: you’ve just repressed it. And yes. The Bible knew it first.
Dashiell Hammett once wrote that liars were more easily fooled by lies than honest people. (He was a detective. He had some experience in this.) I also heard that people with a slight tendency to dishonesty make better marks for a con artist than rigorously honest people: that any tendency to cut corners makes a person easier to hook with a get-rich-quick scheme. Hmmm.
For me, not having to make more than one car payment is a source of peace. (For others, the 5 year warranty may be more important). My spouse tells me that when he used to get the urge for a new and fancy vehicle, he would rent one of the model he was interested in for a week first. Always, he said, the thrill would disappear in a few days. Then he would buy the practical beater vehicle he actually needed. Shrewd man. Great system. The Bible knew it first…
I’m doing a series on Proverbs. I’m fascinated by them. If you stare at a Bible proverb long enough, you get all kinds of things out of them. My first question is usually, “Uh, so? Isn’t that kind of obvious?” Then I stare at it and let it bother me for awhile, and find out why God thought it was worth including.
After that, I blow a gasket finding a modern application. That’s when it’s really fun.
Please note that I have freely paraphrased some of them in the interests of emphasis and clarity for modern audiences. I mean, REALLY freely paraphrased. Blow the dust off your Bible and compare, okay? (OK, ok, I know. You actually read yours. I’ll stop being a smartass…)