During my freshman year of college, the first person I met was a guy named David. He was interesting, funny, outgoing, and easy to talk to. We hit it off immediately.
Of course, this was before I knew that David was a liar!
David had a habit of talking about himself . . . a lot. According to his own testimony, he had tons of great attributes and adventures and accomplishments. Among the many stories he recounted as we got to know each other were tales of his basketball prowess.
He claimed to be a superstar, coveted by college recruiters until he tore his ACL. The more I heard, the more excited I became. I had stepped onto campus dreaming about putting together a winning intramural team, and I had just found my star center.
Again, this was all before I knew that David was a liar.
I believed all of David’s stories – all of them – until we played our first game. How can I say this nicely? He was terrible. Sure, he possessed size, but that was all he brought to the table. He was slow and awkward and lazy . . . and he had no touch at all. To make matters worse, he was a ball-hog. He would talk trash as he tossed brick after brick at the basket.
His performance reminded me of this commercial from a few years ago. Do you remember this one?
Needless to say, my team got stomped. So did my faith in my friend. In fact, shortly after this game, I began to suspect that all of David’s exploits were lies. Turns out, I was right.
I met his old classmates who confirmed – he had never been part of a gang war back home. He had never saved the life of a child in his neighborhood. He had never dated supermodels, or driven exotic sports cars, or traveled the world.
I was embarrassed. And disgusted. And jaded. Everything I knew about David was a lie.
My experience with David taught me an important lesson – never choose an intramural team without seeing the players in action. Well, that’s the small lesson he taught.
Actually, he taught me a bigger lesson, too – you can’t believe everything you hear. Even if the message you hear is spoken loudly and confidently and with much certainty and bravado . . . you have to be careful before embracing it.
After all, some lies are more dangerous than others. A lie about basketball skills is one thing. A lie that leads someone to follow a certain path in life, or make a huge lifestyle decision, or to adjust their entire worldview . . . obviously that is a bigger deal.
And make no mistake, our world is filled with those types of lies.
Over the next few weeks, I will be using this blog space to shine the spotlight on certain lies that have infiltrated our culture. These are lies that are spoken loudly and often. They are lies that are widely held as truth. They are also lies that have the potential to wreck lives.
As a reference-point for this series, I want to offer this explanation for how I see truth and lie. Truth belongs to God. Jesus said, “I am the TRUTH and the way and the life.” God is Truth. His Words are truth, not opinion. Opinions are relative; opinions are personal; opinions change. But Truth stands forever.
So what is Truth? Imagine a number line that goes from 0% on one side to 100% on the other. Start on the left, at zero, and allow your eyes to follow to the other side. At what point do you get to TRUTH? 10%? 20%? What about 90%? If something is 90% true, is that good enough?
To answer that question, ask yourself this one – would you be willing to drink a glass of water that is 90% pure but has 10% arsenic? Of course not. Even 1% poison would be deadly.
In the same way, Truth isn’t Truth until you get to 100%.
Our Enemy specializes in shades of gray. He loves to work at the 80%-90% range on that line. He loves to mix his lies with just enough truth to enable us to swallow it. And when we do . . . the result is the same as swallowing poison.
In this series, we will be exposing those “gray area lies” – things spoken that look just good enough to embrace, but are just enough poison to destroy.
I hope you will click on this blog throughout the next two weeks to keep up with this series. Better yet, click the link on the left and subscribe!
Leave your comments below, and if you have suggestions, I would love to hear them!