Wednesday, April 9, 2008

No Deceit

Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. (Psalm 32:2)

No one who practices deceit shall dwell in my house; no one who utters lies shall continue before my eyes. (Psalm 101:7)

As soon as my friend's front door closed behind me, I knew I would have to go back.

"It's getting late, though" I reasoned. "I need time to read a bit before bed and I really did want to put some clothes to wash. I don't need to say anything right now. If it comes up again, I'll fess up. It's not like this is a daily thing. It's not like I don't grieve over my sin and ask God for forgiveness and fight temptation...most of the time. I've had victory and responded to conviction. And the fact that I just lied to my friend...well..."

Then I broke.

I tried to shake it off and just go ahead and read as I'd originally planned. But, when I picked up my bible, I heard "blessed is the man in whom there is no deceit."


My master weasling skills continued to rule and I opened the bible anyway. I landed at Psalm 101. "No one who practices deceit shall dwell in my house; no one who utters lies shall continue before my eyes."

I think I actually said "OK!" outloud.

I looked in the mirror and replayed what had just transpired in my head, with tears welling up in my eyes:

As I was visiting with my friend, I felt a urging to ask her for observations about my life in light of the most recent sermon at church on hinderances. She thought for a moment and then, instead of offering observations, asked a question. She said she had been praying for me and she felt the Lord lead her to pray about a specific area of sin. "Is this something you struggle with?", she asked. The area in question wasn't anything I'd ever mentioned to her. I told her that it had been an area of struggle in the past but it wasn't anymore.

I lied.

We talked a little more about some other issues and observations, I helped
her clean up the dinner dishes and then headed home.

My chest throbbed.

I lied.

Why did I lie? I asked for her input, the Lord gave her insight and I just shut it down.

How could I lie? How could I do so without even blinking? It is almost impossible for me to even say the "nice" thing when it is not also the "honest" thing. How could I opt for self-protection at the expense of more sin, and in a way that did nothing to build up the faith of my friend.

I knew I had to go make it right. I had to confess. I had to ask forgiveness. And, I had to come clean about the fact that she had heard correctly. This was God's grace to me. I had to humble myself and accept matter how it made me feel right at that moment.

So I did. With tears in my eyes, I went back to my friend. I doubt she was completely surprised. Regardless, she welcomed me in and we plopped on her bed and I spilled both confessions and tears.

Even today it is an emotional thing for me.

But I am trusting that this is the beginning of the end for this most recent season of struggle. I am trusting that God gives grace to the humble. I am trusting that He is for me and determined to bless me. I am trusting that He is kind and will give more grace, and strength, and sufficiency. I am trusting that His will, which is freedom and righteousness, will be done.

And now I wait...not just feeling bad about my disobedience, but endeavoring all the more to walk in obedience, trusting that He will bless my efforts to submit to His word and that His word will be written on my heart and I will be changed. It has to happen. It can't not because He has said "blessed is the [wo]man in whom there is no deceit..."

And to that I say: "Amen."

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