I really hate telling lies. It causes a lot of heart-searching at times. I like keeping my conscience clear, but there are times when the truth will have terrible consequences to the recipient.
I was in just such a quandary yesterday when my mother who is a very ‘on fire’ Pentecostal confronted me about my assertion on Facebook (Which it never occurred to me she might see) that I am agnostic.
To her, this is ‘rejecting Christ’ and a repentant murderer is more likely to see the pearly gates than I am. She finds it personally hurtful and I could sense her withdrawal from me. In her faith, you don’t even eat at the same table with filth such as I. I know this because the same issues tore our family apart when I was in my teens and I began to openly question matters of faith.
I could explain that uncertainty is not the same as rejection, but to her, the uncertain are as bound for hell as the evil. She’s just confided in me that she might have terminal cancer, and I’m to go and support her for two weeks during an operation later this month.
She has enough to worry about without having to worry about my immortal soul, and if she spends the entire two weeks attempting my conversion, we will both become frustrated and upset. She needs to trust me now. I’m her support in this difficult time.
So I lied. I spun an enormous and almost unbelievable yarn (Which I’m ashamed to even mention) and managed to convince her that I’m born again enough to be trustworthy. I hated it.
It made me feel sick telling such lies, though I’m not doing it for my comfort but for hers. It would be pointless to debate this with her, and now is the worst possible time to embark on a course that will end in alienation unless I give in – which means a lie sooner or later – as I doubt she’ll convince me of anything I’m not convinced of yet.
I didn’t sleep well last night. I feel awful, even though I’ve rationalized as follows: If a lie is told in order to ensure positive and unselfish ends – if it builds another person up in some way – then its ok to lie. The truth should be told, but only if its constructive.
So why do I still hate myself?
Today’s pic: I’m starting to get to know the camera…