December 18, 2006

confession

Have you ever had to tell someone you lied to them?

Late last week during an extremeley stressful day at work, my client asked me a simple question, and because I did not like the way the truth would make me look, I lied.

It was a ridiculous thing to do, such a small, seemingly non-threatening little white lie. The truth was not even so bad. I could have smoothed it over in the same breath if I had just had an ounce of integrity in the moment. But I lied.

I kept thinking it wasn't so bad. That I would forget about it, and God would forgive me, and it would all be ok. But I couldn't forget about. It plagued me. All weekend long. I had not felt that way in years. Even in guilt, I could not imagine actually fessing up to the person whose eyes I had looked into and blatantly lied to. I kept thinking, I don't really have to tell them...do I? God will still forgive me, and I can move on from this, repent and never do it again without confessing...right?

Something kept telling me that I was now lying to myself. Some might call it my conscience, but I think I'm gonna call it the Holy Spirit.

Great.

Now I've got something different on my hands. If this is the Holy Spirit, telling me to make something right, telling me that this is part of true repentence, telling me NOT to take the easy way out for once, then I better listen and do.

I felt like a child this weekend, being disciplined by my Father. I had lied to someone that deserved the truth, and I was trying to walk away from it like it didn't matter. I was being told to go make it right. And I didn't want to. In fact, I was NOT going to do it. At least, that was the status last Thursday. For as many times as I tried to justify this decision, I was met with a reason why it could not be justified. So many questions came to mind because of this simple little dishonest act.
  • can I really be forgiven if I don't make this right with the other person?
  • how many times have I taken the "easy" road of repentence - just asking God for forgiveness and not the person I hurt as well? am I still guilty of those times (because I know they happened, it's just time has helped me forget...)
  • if I don't make this right this time, will I continue to harden my heart against "little" things until I no longer even realize when I've sinned?
  • if this is the Holy Spirit plaguing my conscience, am I sinning by not responding with a true confession? and is this the kind of sin against the Holy Spirit that the Bible says there is no grace for?

Last night, as I tossed and turned in bed, trying to find sleep, but only finding conviction, I decided I was going to make it right. My client would certainly not kill me over this, but my guilt might. My client would probably not even chew me out, but my conscience was eating me alive.

In the end, the person I had wronged was very gracious. More so than I deserved.

I can't help but hear the Spirit say to me now, "that's what grace is all about".

2 Comments:

At 10:13 PM, Blogger Malia said...

proud of you
:)

 
At 10:50 PM, Blogger John H said...

wow. When I've done this kind of thing in the past, I've always discovered that the people in question were wonderfully graceful (like your client), and the biggest punishment was the time I spent worrying, thinking, pondering (much like it sounds you did) about my lie.

One of the few things I've really learned in my elder years is that just telling the truth the first time is so much easier even if you kinda have to duck after telling the truth. I don't always listen to this wisdom, but it sure feels a lot better when I do.

Grace is ultimately the only thing that will save mankind on any level. When it comes unexpectedly it just feels so good!

 

Post a Comment

<< Home