Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Color of Lies

I am not accusing anyone of telling whoppers. Just so you know. Sometimes, though, the things people tell are so fantastical that they are not at all believable, at least to me. If you want me to believe something remarkable, show me a double-blind, controlled study. Better yet, show me two or three that all have the same conclusion. With that said, the question of veracity has come up twice today.

In the first instance, I checked my standing in the 14-day step challenge on my health insurance website. I'm part of a five person team and our cumulative step total for the four days is now at 191,412 steps.  We were ranked #198 earlier, but we've moved up to #171. I do not really like being in the 171st place.  Just so you know. 

I have had an extremely busy day and have been moving almost constantly. Yes, I ate "lunch" while I was walking. (I do not recommend that, so please do as I say and not as I do.). My personal ranking is even worse than our team rank. I managed to travel 15,714 steps today.  Since I started my day at 4:10 am, you would think I could have traveled a little further. If I knew the secret step trick I would have. With all my moving, my personal rank has moved up from 1,875th to 918th. I do not like either one of those numbers, unless those numbers have dollar signs associated. That would be fine. Rankings for steps, though, is not good. 

Now here is where the fantastical part comes into the equation. The supposed person in first place supposedly has 362,646 steps over the four days. This supposed person supposedly has nearly twice as many steps as the five people on my team combined. I have figured it out. This is not really a person. It's a roadrunner. Beep beep!!

I am not saying that these numbers are untrue, but I would like a demonstration of how it is possible. Also, it is not really fair for chubby women of a certain age to have to compete with roadrunners. Beep beep!!

The second veracity issue is worse. Suffice it to say, someone I know and love was discussing a little road trip by public transportation. The question was about getting on the transport vehicle at a place other than the station. You can't do it, but the transport does stop at the exact place where this much loved person wanted to get on. There was no question of not buying a ticket, but it was hard to figure out how to avoid going a long way out of the way in order to shorten the trip. The sensible solution was to get on at the non-stop. This very dear person had what they thought was a terrific idea. "I'll just say, 'What do you mean I can't get on here? I've been on here since Memphis!'" That, of course, would not be true. My response was, "Well, I don't think a lie would be the best way to go." (Since I know this person really well, I can get away with saying that.) Much to my surprise, they replied, "Seems like a white lie." As I am pretty sure they know (because I have said it many times), lies only come in one color (They are the black color of sin, because that's what a lie is). A lie is still a lie, no matter why you tell it. 

I recognize that I tend to be so blunt that you might wish for a little softening, but really, do you want a lie? I think not, no matter how well-intentioned. I am not saying I have never told a lie, but I'm pretty much committed to truth, and I make a conscious effort to tell the truth every time. Even if I don't like it, even if I whine and grovel afterward, please, just tell me the truth. 

Did substituting a roadrunner (beep beep!!) for a real person really make any difference? No. Did it hurt me? No. The problem with the roadrunner substitute is that I am skeptical of all the other results now, and will be less inclined to believe anything else that comes from my insurance company. 

Would getting on at the non-stop hurt the transport company? No, because the ticket was a full-trip ticket. The company actually gets a full fare from a half-trip rider. The problem with that "white lie" is that I will be less inclined to believe what this much loved person tells me the next time. Be it big or small, there will be just a little doubt. Are they just telling me what they think I want to hear? I hope not, but how will I know?

Another problem with the "white lie" is personal integrity. If you will tell a lie on purpose once, you will do it twice. Before you know it, you have a lifestyle of deceit and what started as a "little" compromise has become a serious character flaw. Who wants that? No one. 

Lies have been getting us in trouble since the Garden of Eden. In fact, the only One in the Garden who didn't lie was God Himself. That's because He IS truth. If we are going to at least strive to do right, (let alone try to follow in the footsteps of Jesus) we will have to embrace truth, and embracing truth begins with rejecting lies. Leviticus makes it very clear. 

'You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another. (Leviticus 19:11 NASB)

What's hard to understand about "you shall not"? Nothing at all, that's what, so let's choose truth. Every single time.