Monday, September 25, 2017
Your commandments give me understanding; no wonder I hate every false way of life. Psalm 119:104(NLT)
The sociology professor held up the book we were going to study…and an ominous thought crossed my mind…it’s going to be a long 16 weeks! The book (at times) was semi-interesting, but really difficult to digest. I’m not sure whether the problem with digesting the author’s ideas was due to the writer’s style or my discomfiting realization that the ideas presented by the author were too-close-to-home!
The book, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, used the metaphor of stage performance to “explain” how we conduct our lives in the presence of others. The suggestion to the reader was that, like players on a stage in Shakespearean times, actors wore masks to represent the different characters they were playing. The number of roles one person could play was limited only by how many masks you could hold in your hand (and, I presume, whether you were schizophrenic enough to suppress multiple personalities while wearing only one mask at a time).
I have to admit that the idea of people not being honest with you was new to me. Being just 24 years old at the time, I was appalled at the thought that people would lie to you. (I was something of a late-bloomer when it comes to human relationships).
In retrospect – and after 45 more years of interaction with people – I suspect the author was onto something; not everything that glitters is actually gold, and not every word that proceeds from a person’s mouth will stand close scrutiny. Chalk it up to expediency, creativity, or Adam’s sin in the Garden; people have been lying to each other since the Serpent schooled Eve in how to get around the truth!
The Psalmist presents a different, refreshing perspective: hating any false way of life. And how different it is than what we experience in our culture every day. The Psalm writer suggests a life where, under the instruction of God’s Word and ways, you put all the masks you’re tempted to wear in the recycle bin and go with what your Creator gave you. You live an authentic life.
Think of the benefits:
· Never being caught in a lie
· Never having to worry about keeping your story line straight because truth never changes
· Only having friends who will accept the real you, because that’s what they get every day…(incidentally, once people get over the shock of hearing truth in a false culture, they’re very attracted to it…truth brings hope)
· Never having that queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach when you finally get around to praying…because you’ve been living authentically, not living a lie
· …and so on.
You’ve got a choice today…put on the masks and juggle the half-truths you use to make sure you get what you want, even though in the end you’ll have stuff, and a self-made false image of what people think of you……or……you can lay the masks down and live the uncluttered and uncomplicated way of truth – an authentic life!
Just thinking about that helps me understand why Jesus said the truth will set you free!
You chew on that as you hit the Rocky Road…have a blessed day!