There are few things in life that bother me more than lies.
Even if the lie is ‘for my own good’, I abhor it. I have lived enough of my life to know and realize that truth might hurt in the moment, but lies will devour you. Lies destroy relationships.
Like for my friend, Constance (names have been changed to prevent further damage to relationships). She and her family are very broken–devoured by the lies that have been consuming them for years. No one has done anything significantly terrible, but they haven’t spoken to each other, at least not civilly, in years because of the lies. And not even big whoppers, just tiny bits of manipulated truth spoken bit by bit over time.
But, funny thing, “little by little” and “bit by bit” really add up. And soon, it becomes a big pile of POOP, and if you’ve ever been near a big pile of POOP, you know it smells and the smell it filters into the very air you breathe. If you stay near it long enough though, it stops smelling so bad, which is why adding just a little more to it doesn’t feel so bad.
Piles of POOP, though have a way of separating us from the world, and each other. Because let’s face it, no one likes to hang out near POOP.
So what’s the result? Well, for Constance and her family–the result is Bloodguilt. No, there hasn’t been any murderous deeds, so I’m not speaking literally as the Psalmist probably was. No, this bloodguilt is m ore figurative than that. This is the kind of blood where you actually have to leave with the person knowing that you have killed their self-esteem, their trust, their understanding; you didn’t stab a knife into their back–literally. It’s piling that poop on over and over to the point that you have killed this relationship. And you have to live with the guilt of that murder and the guilt eats into your soul.
For Constance, the lies killed a bond hat should have brought her closer to people. Who knows when it truly started because generations have had to carry around the bloodguilt that stemmed from past lies. Lies that seem harmless, but the thing is–lies are our enemy’s favorite weapon. Because the enemy can make a lies seem very innocent until, before you even know what hit you, you’re up to your eyeballs in…POOP.
Fortunately, the enemy flees in the presence of truth and, as Lysa Terkeurst says in her book Uninvited, “truth is the perfect tranquilizer for the roaring, prowling enemy seeking to devour us (159). This means we are not stuck with a pile of poop forever. With a shovel, a little effort and a whole lot of God’s grace we can dig out form our lies and re-purpose our words into fertilizing truth. That doesn’t excuse us form the consequences of our lies, but it does give hope.
Constance and her family are very broken, but they don’t have to stay that way. One shovel full at a time they can grow their family into something meaningful and purposeful. But it won’t shovel itself. It’ll be hard work. It might be painful. However, anything worth doing takes effort and the results can be breathtaking and definitely worth a few calloused hands.