Sunday, December 12, 2010

Will You Lie With Me?

Yesterday I made a trip to the grocery store to purchase some food for myself since my parents are out of town visiting my brother and his newly born son. While I was checking out, a 20-something girl walked up, and I looked at her, smiled, and asked, "How's it going?" She replied, "It's going pretty good." I returned my attention to the cashier and while confirming that I heard her by saying, "That's good." Normal everyday life continued as I paid and moved down to collect my purchases until I heard her say, "Will you lie with me?" I dismissed the comment, thinking it was not spoken towards me except it was repeated with emphasis by adding, "Hey, will you lie with me?" I looked up and saw she was looking me directly in the face, and I was going to be forced to reply. Taken aback by the comment and trying to figure out how to respond correctly, I paused for a moment. She helped me out with a little prompting: "Well, I just lied with you, so I feel it is only polite for you to return the favor. So... will you?" Feeling the awkward pressure coming from the presence of the cashier, I only could reply "Sure," hoping I would be able to come up with a better answer before doing anything I did not really want to do. But I was stopped right there. "How are you doing," she questioned. My immediate response, "Good." She grabbed her bags and said, "Good. Hope you have a good rest of the day," and walked away without the expectation of me following or looking back.

Now, this is a very bizarre story, and funny enough, not all of it is true. In fact, there are a lot of lies in this story. First, I did not go to the grocery store; my dad buys food as if we will need to survive two weeks. Second, the cashier was not really a cashier, but the manager; they were short staffed. Third, the girl I spoke to was not good. In fact, judging by the redness in her face, the ice cream in her buggy, and the copy of "When Harry Met Sally" in her hand, she had either just had a fight with her boyfriend and/or they had terminated their relationship. And fourth, the nervous tension in my body and the hidden pregnancy test in my jacket pocket would tell you I was not all that hot myself.

DISCLAIMER: this is NOT some subliminal cry for help, nor have I gotten a girl pregnant. That comment was purely for effect.

However, I would say this is a very common situation. Look at the question she asked again: "Will you lie with me?" The word lie has two meanings: 1) to rest or recline upon an object, and 2) to speak falsely (these are loose definitions). Which do you think she was using? I have had several conversations with friend about how we hate the question "How are you doing" because we ask it or get asked it, and lies are the responses. It is a knee-jerk reflex to say "Good". In most cases, you would probably find that if someone knew the reply would be different than that, they would not ask the question. It locks us into caring about something we do not truly care about. Of course there is a need for us to care for sure, but that is not what I am writing about today.

Think of how often not telling the truth complicates our lives. It hurts relationships, destroys friendships, breaks marriages. And how often is our motivation "to protect someone"? How often does that work? What about when it is to protect ourselves? Fails just as much. But how good is the truth! In Ephesians 4 and 5, Paul writes to us about being Children of Light. Verses 4:20-24 spell out how the Ephesians came into being with Christ, by putting off the old self, being made new in the attitude of your minds, and putting on the new self, and following directly after: "Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are members of one body."(v.25) For the rest of the 4th chapter and the beginning of the 5th, we see the calling of the children of light, to be imitators of God, to be without the fruit of sin, culminating in 5:8-14:
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful to even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said:
'Wake up, O sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.'"

I'll be honest, I have not quite figured out exactly what verse 12 means in relation within this passage, but I have discovered for myself the goodness of being truthful and confessing my sins to others, allowing them to see inside my my heart. And when this happens, I see a body of believers who DO care for each other and long to help one another. And I do not see, but feel the presence of my fellow soldiers on my left and on my right as we follow our savior into battle, in our war against sin and the flesh. We have died with Christ, and we have risen with Christ; sin is no longer to be a part of us. But when we separate ourselves from the body, when we push away from it with our lies and half-truths, Satan sweeps in and destroys us.

In the movie "Gladiator", the recreation of Battle of Carthage shows the men staying together as a unit while those standing alone were struck down. Let us praise God for the forgiveness he has for those who venture out, and may we learn to stand together against the forces of evil.

1 comment:

  1. i like it... continue to confess and he will continue to free you... verse 12 is basically talking about slander