Taking stock of the lies in our life

Brenda Cannon HenleyBy Brenda Cannon Henley
I recently wrote about taking inventory and recounted an experience I had with a very successful international manufacturing and shipping company located in Georgia. Their products are shipped all over the world and are helpful in many areas of life. While I was writing the inventory articles, I began to think that perhaps we are far better at taking inventory on an assigned basis at work where we are given parameters, tools, clipboards, pens and pencils, and the workers necessary to do the job of counting and recording. Now, so much of this work is done on computers and hand held devices have been invented to make the progress go smoothly.

My question is this, “How good are we at taking stock or inventory of our own lives?” If we read Philippians 3 with our hearts, as well as our minds, we find the Apostle Paul laying out some helpful guidelines about what we should want in our lives and some things we should not want in our inventory. We should question our priorities, loyalties, habits, goals, and successes. If we can be totally honest, we will find some things that are not so good and perhaps some that are good and helpful not only to us, but to others. Verses 7-14 of Chapter 3 of Philippians give us a fairly simple plan or guide by which to assess our daily living.

One reason this thought persisted in my mind is that I sat in a room with several other people and witnessed a grown man that I respect and admire straight up and down lied to one of the younger gentlemen in the group. The conversation was over a piece of prime real estate that I knew for a fact had been sold and a contract was solidly in place, not to mention the owner’s word. The young man did not have the necessary funding to buy such a property, but his heart was set on it and he was working hard after college and saving his money toward his goal. I was astounded at the wild and the untruthful promises the wealthy owner made.

I kept my peace and although I wasn’t happy about what had happened, I waited quietly until everyone left for home. I then simply asked the older man why he did what he had done. He did not have a ready answer, but alluded to the fact that he did not want to discourage the young man, and although he knew he could not afford the property, he thought it best that he did not tell him it was already sold. I directly asked, “But you lied, didn’t you? You certainly did not tell him the truth that the house and desirable land was already sold. To me that is just plain wrong.” I added that I thought the young man would have been better off knowing the truth and moving on to something else. I cannot imagine his disappointment when he finds the new residents moving into his dream home.

I thought long and hard about this matter. To me, it is still wrong. Why the necessity to lie? Mama Cole often said that if a man or woman will lie about one thing, he or she would lie about other things. Trust is a valuable commodity to lose and I want to be found truthful, even when it hurts.

How often do we lie in every day transactions? How many times do we simply discount the truth or exaggerate the circumstances or our involvement in them? How regularly do we build ourselves up way too high and carefully craft our stories or accounts to put others down? How long does it take for lying to become second nature? Are our hearts pricked when we tell tall tales and outright lie to others? Or, can we now do it with ease and with no guilt on our part because we do it so often?

I am concerned about some of the things I have discovered in the inventory of my own life, and I am certain some of us reading this article today can feel a pang of truth when we realize that we may be a little smug about lying or exaggerating to our family members and friends. When we tell one lie or untruth, we are most often called upon to add another lie on top of the first and keep on until we build a house of cards that will fall when we least expect it to do so. We will be hurt and our family will be hurt, not to mention the fact that our reputation among others is tarnished and trashed.

Let’s work at getting untruthfulness out of our lives beginning today.

Brenda Cannon Henley can be reached at (409) 781-8788, or
at brendacannonhenley@yahoo.com


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