Can you remember what you got in trouble for the most as a child? In other words, what did your parents emphasize as the worst possible thing you could do? With me, it was lying. Telling the truth was expected and punishment came easier if we confessed and repented first.

I was 4-5 years old, living in a tight-knit community in Musaitbe, Beirut, Lebanon. All the balconies and rooftop gardens in the back to back apartment buildings looked out on and over each other. Western-style ideas of private living weren’t on anyone’s radar. We knew the raucous ins and outs of each other’s lives quite well! Therefore, hiding one’s comings and goings, lying about when and where you went usually unraveled.

I remember wanting to go to one of my mom’s student’s homes right up the hill from us to watch TV on a Saturday afternoon. I didn’t have permission to do so, but I knew I could get away with it since mom was busy preparing for Sunday activities. However, I forgot two things: my mom’s eyes were indeed “in the back of her head,” as were also present in all the heads of every other mother in the neighborhood, and her student would be back in class on Monday eager to elaborate on my visit.

I trudged confidently up that hill, was greeted warmly by my neighbors, enjoyed an hour or so of TV, was served the ubiquitous refreshments, and returned home sure in my stealth. Monday after school was a whole other story! Needless to say, my lessons in telling the truth started early in life and permeated my future encounters with betrayal profoundly.

We will be lied to, misrepresented, and misinterpreted indefinitely in our journeys. However, that does not give us permission to do likewise. The more honest, vulnerable, and open we are, the more authentic our relationships can be.

God knows me better than I know myself and gets the remotest nooks and crannies of my heart. Therefore, He can get at and soothe every betrayal episode. I will grow stronger with each healing and be better equipped to recognize and mend from subsequent lies that are sure to come my way.


What lie is weighing you down today?

Examine me, and probe my thoughts! Test me, and know my concerns! See if there is any idolatrous tendency in me, and lead me in the reliable ancient path!

Psalms 139: 23-24

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