If you are a parent, or around kids for any amount of time, you know how they love a good cover-up. My boys can compound a deception with another lie in record time. I love being a parent because I know EXACTLY what they are doing and they seem oblivious that “I AM ON TO YOU, BUDDY!”
So often, one of them has something in their hand. Candy, an off limits electronic item… just anything they know is contraband. They see me, they subtly hide it. But, I know. I know the whole thing.
“What are you doing?” I ask.
“Nothing” they reply in a contrived innocent tone.
I prod some more, “Do you have something in your hand?”
“No, nothing, I’ve got nothing”
Smiling sweetly I say, “Well you are adding lying to your thievery, it’s all going down-hill isn’t it?”
“Mom!!! How do you know!!?!”
How? Because Mom’s and Dad’s know. They see all the great things about their kids but they know the rest too.
Too often, the cover-up becomes a life-long way of living. Even as adults, we are reluctant to come out of hiding. If we can hide, we will hide. That seems to be our default ever since the Garden of Eden.
Why do we do this? Our Father knows. He’s watching it all. We are that kid with the contraband chocolate chips from the kitchen cupboard.
Why? Because we still have a death-grip on a faith that is about me and what I do instead of about Him and what He’s done. When it’s about me and what I do, cover-up is necessary, hiding is essential. In order to measure up we have to cover up anything that feels messed up.
Our inner life becomes like a Queen Size mattress with Single bed sheets… something is always exposed and we are constantly trying to fix that.
So goes the great life-long effort at covering up our weaknesses, failures and sins. And when we do this, you know what happens? Crap. Crap happens. That’s the truth.
My son covers up stealing with a lie. Then he lies about the lie. Then he starts accusing me of being unfair. Then our relationship because distant and hurtful.
When I lack humility and honesty I am doing the same thing with the same consequences to myself and those around me.
Living a life of constantly trying to avoid exposing the unseemly bits destroys us and our relationships. It may be slow but it is unrelenting.
What’s the markings of a Christian? Love? Patience? Peace? Yes. But before all that our first act is one of honesty and humility. We can’t let it stop there, the gosepl is not an event, it is a way of life.
Some people say to me, “You know, religion is a crutch” or “Religion is for weak people”.
I don’t deny this at all. In fact, that just is not taking it far enough in my opinion. Faith is not a crutch, it’s a stretcher. Jesus is for dead people. Jesus is for weak people. Jesus is for tired of the cover-up people.
Who do I want to be? I want to be this:
God: “Lindsey, what’s in your hands”
Me: “It’s stolen candy!! And that’s not all, I’ve got a bunch of crap in my pockets that doesn’t belong to me! In fact, things are pretty messy here God!
All our relationships need deep honesty and humility. Our relationship with God would be deeper if we’d be quicker to transparency. Humility and honesty is the oxygen to a life-giving marriage. We are willing to work with anything, if our kids would just be quick to be open with us. A boss, so often is willing to extend mercy if the employee will confess right away an error.
What about you? Christianity is for messed up people. This is the truth. In what ways can you dive more deeply into humility and honesty with God and those around you?