As a former contender for “Worlds’ Greatest Liar”, I became proficient at telling all sorts of tall tales, exaggerations, embellishments and all-out fabrications. As a result, the words I spoke meant little. They built nothing. They were nothing. They simply flew out into the air and disappeared in the wind. It there wasn’t any wind, I provided plenty of hot air.
It is hard to reach out and grasp the word ‘liar’ and place it on my own forehead but if I ever want to see the truth in my life, I have to come to grips with the liar I had become. If I refuse the title I have chosen, I am doomed to remain as I was. A liar cannot become truthful unless he confesses the lies just as a man cannot change direction unless he realizes he is going the wrong way.
For years, decades even, in order to avoid facing truth, I lied and in order to keep lying I had to lie to myself. Without swallowing my own lies as truth, I would be forced to change. But by buying my own B.S., I enabled myself to believe that some good came from what I said and did.
Proverbs 14:8 The prudent understand where they are going, but fools deceive themselves.
There is that ‘fool’ word again. I once avoided these verses thinking I wasn’t a fool, that I wasn’t even capable of being a fool. My pride kept me from learning to make my life better but in throwing back the illusion of deception that I couldn’t possibly be the fool in these scriptures, I can see that I have choices to make and hope for a better tomorrow.
I used to think that I would rather be a fool than prudent. I pictured a prude, with self-righteous condemnation and an expression of indignation smeared all over their face. But ‘prudent’ means to act with care and concern for the future. Honestly, I used to see little value in this quality. I like reckless abandon and being in the moment.
Reckless abandon requires a little lying to myself. It can’t hurt. Only the other guy will crash and burn. I’ll be OK by tomorrow. Of course, none of that worked for me. I was always in pain, always under repair and never OK.
Being in the moment is a good thing when kept in the context of where I am going. Even a little reckless abandon is alright when it doesn’t detour me from my ultimate destination. Better to follow God than allow myself to believe my own lies and be drawn into places that do considerable damage to me, though.
I can’t lie to myself and think I am too awesome to be the fool. I tend to live as a fool on the edge of wisdom. The more clearly I see this, the further from the edge and deeper into the heart of truth I venture.