Monday, April 1st
Lie: to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive; to create a false or misleading impression
Colossians 3:9-10 (NRSV)
Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator.
Today is April Fool’s Day, and in many countries around the world it is a time for practical jokes and crazy hoaxes. Most everyone expects to be “fooled” and many try to be tricksters; usually both parties are amused. On this day each year, our lies are excused as part of the fun.
But on normal days, why might we lie to one another? My guess is that for most of us, any lies we may tell would be minor ones to save our reputation or to avoid criticism. Things are great at home. I was late because of a traffic jam. My studies are going well. I missed work yesterday because my stomach hurt. My computer died so I didn’t get that report finished. My career is flourishing. I’ve been too busy to call. The dog ate my homework. We tweak the truth or create an excuse instead of admitting our faults, our troubles, or our failures. We want to appear perfect or at least better than we are.
Only God knows the whole truth about us. God knows exactly what we have done wrong, the troubles we are facing, and the worries in our private lives. Knowing everything about us, God still loves us completely. God forgives us and God wants to help us. We can come clean before God without fear, because through Jesus we know we will remain God’s beloved child forever.
Isn’t God’s opinion of us the only one that truly matters?
As we trust in our awesome God who loves us in our brokenness, we find the freedom and courage to be honest about our failures and faults with those who need to know. We no longer need to lie in order to impress others or pretend all is well. We can ask for forgiveness from those we have wronged. We can “strip off the old self with its practices” of lying or misleading. We can set an example that might enable others to open up for needed support or understanding, too.
Perhaps best of all, our faith communities can become places in which all of us are being renewed in knowledge according to the image of (our) creator. They can become places of honesty and humility in which we offer mutual support, encouragement, wisdom, maturation, and acceptance. They can become places where all are welcome… just as we are.
All definitions are excerpted from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary at https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/
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