Deception. The act of deceiving, which is to mislead by a false appearance or statement; delude.
Wow, when I look up the definition and see it spelled out before my eyes it sinks in so much more. Deception is evil and hurtful – not innocent. Yet, it is so easy to convince yourself that you are not doing something wrong. You simply do not want to tell this one person the whole story because you know what they are going to say – and you feel fine with the decision you made or are making. We have an amazing ability to convince ourselves why we are justified to keep some things in the dark from those we dare to call our closest friends, so close they are family. Sin itself is deceptive. The problem is, if these people really are that close, then they will still love you, even if they think you are making an unwise decision. They will tell you it is unwise, because they love you, but still be on your team and fight with you and for your best.
Last night, my deception became too much. I had to go sit in front of two of my best friends and confess that I had not out right lied to them, but I had very intentionally chosen not tell them about a choice I had made. I felt fine before the Lord about my choice. I had told the other people in my inner circle about my choice. I just didn’t want to tell them because I know they are my most conservative friends and that they had a different stance – sure, they don’t think it is sin, but they certainly think it is unwise – and I just did not want to hear it because I did not want to feel like a child. I did a great job of justifying it in my head why I was withholding this information. I had a whole case built up. I wasn’t lying – so I was fine right? I mean I was living in the light with others – so it is all good, right? Wrong. I was misleading them to think something else. It was a lie of omission. Like any lie, I was found out – someone else had told them, assuming they already knew – they were hurt and hot pissed, and rightfully so. I had greatly wronged them – I had full on deceived them – two of the people that have been far more committed to my life than anyone else ever has. They did not come to me and confront me though, and I am thankful that the Lord broke me down to come to them, confess, talk through and ask for forgiveness.
It was not an easy conversation by any means. I broke their trust. I drove this wedge in our relationship – and made them question, what else had I deluded and mislead them on?? And how did these two respond? With grace and forgiveness – there were tears because there was deep hurt – but they both in their own way said, “I forgive you because you are forgiven in Jesus the same way I am forgiven in Jesus.” I went to bed last night thinking – wow, the cross is so big and covers so much more than I can comprehend – because I know that all three of us prior to being believers (we all became followers of Jesus in college) held trust as a number one and if you broke that – good luck getting it back. I sat there knowing, I may have just destroyed two of the best relationships I have had in the last eight years – and I certainly bruised it, but God has been so gracious to me yet again. They forgave me. They want to trust me (though I said please feel free to question me). They want the best for me. They want me to fall more in love with Jesus. They really are on my team. Such a practical picture of the gospel played out in my life. I felt like the prodigal son – so undeserving, yet they welcomed me with open arms.
Will there be things in the future that I decide to do that these two think are unwise? Without being one that knows the future, I can still fairly confidently say absolutely. Will I be honest and upfront about it? By the grace of God, I sure hope so – because being honest and disagreeing is far better than what we went through last night. As one said last night, “No one was winning here,” we all had hurt and pain – though, that is not totally true. There was a winner last night. Jesus won. Jesus ripped out that wedge that my sin had driven in because that is what Jesus does. He rips open wounds and goes in and works and heals – and that is what he is doing in my life. I do not naturally trust people or believe they will be for me. I too easily think I will do something to push them away. Jesus Christ died to bring healing to this brokenness and He is committed to healing this wound. He is using these two very practically in my life – even when I get in the way and seem to make matters worse. He uses it for me to soak in truth and love deeper. These two were a clear picture last night of how God, Himself, continues to forgive me. Forgiveness at the cross does not run out.
Come back to Jesus, that is the only place where there is true freedom and joy.