Simple instructions were the easiest for me to ignore —sometimes they still are.

So, reading a recent meme on Facebook —quoting Dostoevsky — was kind of like hearing a wise friend clear their throat and repeat themself:  

Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to such a pass that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. ~― ― Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Exposed

Decades ago, Doug heard me embellishing the reason we couldn’t accept an invitation with details that were just not true. 

He asked me why I lied?

Lied?

Well, of course that created an emotional brouhaha, me getting caught dead to rights. 

But, it was a question that I needed to answer— for myself. 

Getting caught this time lying to others — even tiny white lies  cracked open a door and made me wonder why my lying was so easy so often. 

Maybe it was God’s way to get my attention about attitudes and habits that were becoming so entrenched I couldn’t see how stuck I was. 

Fast forward another several years, and maybe you can understand why the unnamed woman’s reaction to  meeting Christ at the well resonated loud and clear.  

Dostoevsky’s simple instruction to his generation — to himself, perhaps —  so works for these times Isaiah saw coming when truth fails   and trying to speak the truth, even in love, can borrow a whole lot of trouble! (See  Isaiah 59:13-17 )

How do I still lie to myself?

Telling myself, I need this— when I don’t. 

Or, worse, telling myself, You’ve got this—when I don’t have a clue.

Then, there are the itty-ditty deceptions— like, It’s just one cookie— when it rarely is.

instructions

Close the Door– YOU are bored.

A GLUTTON IS ONE WHO RAIDS THE ICEBOX for a cure for spiritual malnutrition.
Frederick Buechner  

Do I still listen to my own lie(s)?

Well . . . it’s a daily temptation to stay safe in my own echo chamber .

Or,  zip through the very real gratitude list that has more entries than minutes in the day. 

Plus, it is oh so easy to keep the little lie alive  — even at this age and stage — “It’s all about me.”  

Mercifully, Scripture says, No — hardly. ( See God’s answer to Job)

Finally,  A Few More  Simple Instructions  

Opinion is a flitting thing
But truth outlasts the sun,
If then we cannot own them both,
Possess the oldest one.
~Emily Dickinson

Seek the ancient paths— and choose wisely whom to serve — because, even now, [we] Gotta Serve Somebody.

instructions

 

You might like Managing Big Emotions.   

 

 

 

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