The Big Lie
What Were You Thinking?
“‘Do not lie.
“‘Do not deceive one another.’” Lev 19:11
Most people agree that lying and deceiving others is bad – even the pathological liar who often does not even know they are lying. Lying exacerbates other problems. A wife is obviously devastated when she learns her husband has been having an affair, but equally traumatizing is knowing he has been repeatedly lying to her; and one of the greatest obstacles in “forgiving and forgetting” is the lack of trust the lying causes. Lying and deceiving others is bad.
That said, even more damaging that lying to and deceiving others is lying to and deceiving ourselves; the lie we tell and convince ourselves of is The Big Lie. Consider David, a man known for his integrity with God and others:
One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “Isn’t this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (She had purified herself from her uncleanness.) Then she went back home. The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.” . . . David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. In it he wrote, “Put Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die” . . . Uriah the Hittite died . . . she became his wife . . . The LORD sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.
“Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.”
David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this deserves to die! He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”
Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! 2Sa 11:2-12:7
To his credit, David was able to see his lie once it was revealed to him (as a picture in someone else) – few people have that integrity. If I were able to go back in time, and talk to David, I would have just one question for him which, if answered, might be helpful in correcting my poor thinking when I am in the midst of lying to and deceiving myself: “What were you thinking?” This is a great question!
Unfortunately, we are so close to ourselves, and our “issues,” that it is hard to see them clearly until (as in the case of David) great damage has been done. And even then, the natural response (unlike that of David’s) is to trade lie for lie – speeding up (instead of slowing down and thinking!), deceiving ourselves that we are moving forward when, in fact, we are falling further back and down in another self-deception, another Big Lie!
How do we extricate ourselves from the cycle of the Big Lie, hopefully before serious damage is done (or to end the damage once and for all)? The only hope, the only help is Grace. And one of the greatest means Grace uses is the Bible, our only sure hope for a mirror into our hearts and souls, the 1st and vital step in ending The Big Lie and its damage. Read your Bible every day!