I love to tell stories
Sometimes it’s hard to tell if what I am saying is actually true. When I worked in a clinic for a few years as a counselor, my co-workers would phone my wife to ask if what I was saying was true. Kind of weird since how did they know she was not lying to them?
I guess you could say that some of my stories were deceitful. I disguised them as the truth until the very end when I admitted I made the whole thing up.
One time my son and his girlfriend, Judith, were camping. I suppose he was bored because he asked us to join them around the campfire. Now I have a reputation as a bit of a story-teller so when we get there, I sit at the campfire and start making up a story. I can make up a story at any time about anything. On this particular night I started rambling on about nothing in general until it formed itself into a story. Although I was making the whole thing up, my son and Judith and even my wife, Stella, believed it was a true story. I went on and on adding more incredible details to see how much I could get away with.
First Stella caught on but didn’t say anything. After about forty-five minutes, Andrew caught on. I think it was when the space ship landed in front of the guy’s car. His girlfriend hung on my every word believing this fantastic tale was true. I kept adding more and more crazy details about mutated monsters and aliens. Still she believed it was true. Finally after over an hour and a bit, I had mercy and confessed that the whole thing was made up. She was very disappointed that it was not real and embarrassed that she was deceived.
Deceit is like that isn’t it?
It starts with a little half truth or lie that sounds plausible. Then line by line it weaves that lie onto a believable story. Sometimes it can be so clever that while you are listening to the story you are captivated by it; even believing it to more true than what you already know.
This is what happened to Judith. Because of the plausible start to the story and because of the way she was drawn into it, line by line and moment by moment, she could not escape. It was only when I told her it was not true that she was able to see the distortion in the way the story unfolded. Once her eyes were opened, she was free from the story’s hold over her.
My wife attended a women’s seminar just lately. Women seminars always scare me since it may mean me having to change something or, gulp, even have my wife changing. The speaker had a reputation as being a Christian so when she talked the audience had their Christian filters on. Just as Judith had the filter on that I would not lie to her, they believed that what she said was Biblical.
It was the usual self-help talk which is long on the power you have to change and short on the need for Christ in your life. The message started with a premise of a version of truth. Being the best woman you can be is a good thing. Then just like my story, it morphed into something else.
It is a slow process of building lies on a half truth. The deceit grows so slowly that we often don’t see it for what it is. It is only when we are confronted by the truth that we can see the lies.
Pontius Pilate once asked “What is the truth?” This is a good question and how you answer it will help you avoid being deceived. The truth is in the Word of God.
Don’t be deceived by the lying truth of wonderfully told stories or cleverly crafted lies. Know the truth of the Lord and you will not be easily deceived. Compare what you read and see to what God says and you won’t be as gullible as poor Judith.
And I’m not making that up!