I have a confession to make. This confession is not difficult NOW that I have come to fully embrace my errors and have learned how they can actually work to make me a better person. But it is something I have rarely confessed to many people so here I am about to put it online for everyone.
I used to be a habitual liar. For so many years I was fiercely and intensely focused on pleasing other people that I would intentionally lie to one group of people and then tell a different story with another group of people. Each day I would decide the following items based on who I would be interacting with during that day:
- Music that I listened to
- Language filters (think about it!)
- Areas of expertise
- The past and my future endeavors
It was a LOT of work. I would decide who to become in light of who I was around in order to be accepted by them. I hear it is a common trait among us Pisces but I know a lot of people for whom this applies that are not Pisces. It became so intense that I no longer did it on purpose – it almost came naturally. I had developed what amounted to multiple personalities. Whoever I thought needed to be pleased with my existence is who I morphed into being. Wow, God must have been so disappointed in me because in the secret, quiet places of my heart – I was very disappointed in myself.
On this journey of life, while we are mere vessels traveling on this big blue island in space, we encounter God’s amazing diverse Creativity through the land, the landscape, and all who inhabit this space. Yet each time we try hard to please others we are denying God’s diverse nature. Instead of rejoicing and celebrating in and through our diversity we try to become what we were not originally created to be. We try to become like others.
So the lying-self that I had embraced and became so good at – often backfired. Want to feel like a young child again? Get caught in a lie. It does it every time. It CAN be one of the most humbling experiences of our existence yet sometimes we can get caught up in trying to cover that lie and deceive others that it just all goes tumbling out of control. Some days you wake up and really have no clue who you truly are. What’s worse is that usually when you are caught is the time you are being true to yourself but when held up and compared to all the lies you have seeded and harvested through the years – well, you know the story of the little boy who cried wolf.
Today I am proud of the man in the mirror. When I look at the person reflecting back at me I thank the Creator for seeing me through. If it was me, I would have given up on me a very long time ago. But the patience of the Holy is something we simply cannot wrap our brains around.
When I counsel people who are caught up in the web of lies and deceit there is always the question of how to stop. How do we stop when the mere act of stopping is going to bring in to question our very character – our morale center is going to be exposed and it will not be pretty!
There is one person in this world that has had an incredible profound impact on my life. He is the person who helped me and gave me permission to embrace who I am and to stop the lying nature that was in me. I will call him J (and probably not a coincidence that his name and Christ’s both start with the letter J). He wouldn’t put up with it. He was able to see what it was doing to me. He was able to see the dark and rotting nature of my soul that was built on lies and deception and trying to please other people. I thank my God every day that He sent someone like this in to my life to teach me so much.
You have to look deep and accept the consequences of your actions. You have to embrace the person that God wants you to be and be willing to deny who you have been trying to be. You cannot be more than one person. It is tiring and a very lonely. People will catch on. They may not be able to put a finger on it and define it but they catch on to the negative spirit and they will eventually walk away from you. All that time and energy you spent on pleasing them and the end result is: they are no longer in your life because your very nature caught up to you.
Imagine what we could accomplish in this life if we focused on pleasing God and being pleased with the person we see in the mirror each day. It starts by loving ourselves so much that we no longer focus on what others may require of us. What we should focus on is what the Lord requires of us BECAUSE what He requires of us is truly what our hearts desire.
I find it interesting that the answer to what the Lord requires of us is found in a small book of the Bible called Micah. It is simple yet takes a life-time to master. There are three instructions:
1. Do what is right
2. Love mercy
3. Walk humbly with God
Be good to yourself. Be true to yourself. Be honest to yourself. And when you do you will find that you are being good to others – you are being true to others – you are being honest to others. Through this you will find the freedom that you so long to experience. You will know complete surrender. You will know and feel the grace of God working in and through you. Live with courage and seek to find that inner voice that is crying out to you to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk in all humility with your God.