The one thing I don't like is when somebody deliberately lies to me. Trust me; this has happened quite a few times in my life.
I've had to learn how NOT to lie. It's been challenging, but I have been persistent in this goal of mine. There have been stumbling, but I have gotten up every time and started over again. I don’t lie as much as I used to.
Like when I’m talking to the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. I remember once she interrupted me and said, “You’re not lying, are you?”
I try not to lie; that's why I try not to talk too much. When I'm talking, I’m mixing up facts from different situations, which ends in confusion. I'm not lying; I'm just confused.
Coming home the other day, I walked into the living room, and the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage said, "Where have you been?"
That is the question. It's not where have I been, but where in the world am I going? If I tell her where I was, she would get the hint because it's Christmas time and I’m getting her a present. Is it wrong to conceal something like this? Do you think Santa would forgive me?
Last year, she asked me where I was, and I fumbled around, trying to cover my tracks. I don't think I was that good at doing it. When we were opening our Christmas presents on Christmas day, she opened hers and said, "Oh, that's where you were when I ask you where you were." Then she laughed. I was relieved.
This year I'm wrestling with a certain situation. I've had some physical problems, nothing serious. But my wife is the kind of person who sees something and is obsessed with trying to fix it. That's a really good quality for her. And I appreciate it. Nobody can get things done quite like the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage.
Often she’ll ask me, “How are you doing?”
I take it as a trick question and reply, "I'm fine; thanks for asking."
Then she sees me go to the basket where we have our medicines. I have a pain so I pick up the Tylenol and take several out and turn around and guess who I see?
“What do you need that for?”
Now, I'm in a pickle. I can't lie, and yet I don't want to tell the whole truth. What in the world do I do?
“What? This Tylenol? Oh, I’m taking it in precaution of a pain in my knee I might get later this afternoon.”
Then she said, “Which knee do you have the pain?”
Now I’m in a dill pickle. So, I tell her it’s my right knee. I just hope I remember that the next time she asks.
The next morning walking through the kitchen, my wife said, "Do you need some more Tylenol for your knee?"
Then she asked “the” question, “Which knee did you say it was?”
I can't remember hardly anything, she can remember everything, and so I had a 50-50 chance of getting it right.
Later that day, I thought of what David said, “Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue.” (Psalm 120:2).
No good comes from lying. My great challenge is to acknowledge that I’m lying and then do something to correct that.
[Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34472, where he lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Call him at 352-216-3025 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.]