I lie about stupid stuff sometimes. I don’t want you to get the wrong impression about me, I am truthful and trustworthy, but I still lie about stupid stuff. If I do lie I will usually catch myself and tell you that it wasn’t the truth. Today I took my suit to the dry-cleaners. I only wear a suit at weddings and funerals so I only dry-clean it about two times a year. There was a small tear near the pocket and my the woman asked, “Is it getting a little tight on you?” To which I immediately responded, “no, not at all!” Truth be told, it’s getting a little tight.
I began to wonder why my knee-jerk reaction was to lie to the woman. As I wondered all the way over to the coffee shop I stumbled onto the reason behind my knee-jerk reaction. I don’t want to look bad. There is a feeling of self-preservation that one gets when people ask uncomfortable questions. I think sometimes we lie to cover-up a fear of our own reality.
Here is the odd thing. I am not a person who outright makes things up or lies. That’s just not me. I think there is a difference between lying to the IRS on your taxes and lying to your dry-cleaner. The difference is the motive. Both are destructive, but I wonder if the more destructive form of lying is for the purpose of keeping your self-image in tact. Because one day, if you keep lying about the reality of you, your world will come unglued.
Lying about your pants to a drycleaner is a small thing, but it shines a light on something much larger. It shines a light on the ego and what you are willing to do to protect it. I think that this is the idea that Jesus was getting at in the Sermon on the Mount, even the small things in our heart lead to something larger and more destructive.
My lie was to preserve an image of myself that is clearly not reality. I wonder what images you have of yourself that are nowhere near reality. How far will you go to protect your image of yourself?Share