Far too often we lie to ourselves, and God

Published 7:00 am Saturday, August 15, 2020

By Fr. Jonathan Filkins

The word, “Liar!” when directed at our well-fed egos or at the well-fed egos of others, immediately fuels an excited response; both physically and emotionally. While we may not experience the actual word itself, an implication of a less than accurate representation piques our senses and, if an assault upon our personage, we prepare to combat the assailant.
When we were children, our mentors and peers would, rightly or wrongly, be quite willing to challenge the various truths of our statements and behaviors. We, burgeoning with all of the confidence of youth, but without the maturing and experience of age, would attempt to deflect a scintilla’s worth of responsibility for our behaviors; regardless of the true responsibility. Lying soon became an integral part of our retinue. Once entering into the nebulous age of adulthood, we heard less of this challenge for truth.
Our lives today are overflowing with un-truths. This faction, or that, seeks to gain superiority by mis-stating or mis-representing accurate information. Politicians, regardless of stripe, frequently use their individual agendas in pursuit of narrow, onerous goals. Some business leaders follow the axiom, “take no prisoners.” We see our religious interpret Holy Scripture to fit their personal pursuits. Even our relatives and neighbors seem to be equally susceptible to this oh-so -human condition.
Indeed, we are constantly challenged to convey the truth. Upon reflection, this is an all-encompassing mandate. In thought, word and deed we are, within the boundaries of ourselves, called to better serve our fellow man, and through Jesus Christ, our Creator. Not an easy task, at best, and made more acute with our frequent deceptions.
As we read in the First Letter of Saint John, “And every spirit that does not confess Jesus Christ, come in the flesh, is not the Son of God, and this is the spirit of the antichrist. We [Christians] are of God. He who knows God hears God. Hereby we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. He that does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
Scripture is unambiguous about God’s truth. For God is love. It is His giving, to us, of the unfathomable gift of His Son for our redemption. It is His giving of the vast treasures we receive upon this earth. It is His giving of the “Divine Spark” to each of us, which is the very essence of that love.
It would be impossible to rate the level of our indignation, if we discovered all of our closely held beliefs were as quicksand. Discovering that Jesus Christ was one of the many fakirs of that day, or any day, would shake us to our very souls. Hopelessness and despair would only be a shallow description of our newfound angst. However, as the Faithfull, we do not allow such silliness, such doubt to become any part of ourselves.
Yet, we permit the creeping negativism of the antichrist to perfume ourselves and, not only skew our view of the world, but also our interactions with it. Soon, deception and lying become the norm, as we justify our behaviors and ignore the very strictures of Scripture.
Now lying, both to ourselves and others, becomes the new normal. Too soon gone is the relationship between ourselves and God; being replaced by yet another, darker deity. Even though we may say we walk in, “love,” it is a far greater challenge to do it. For, so often, we are lying.

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