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No one who is dishonest will live in my house; no liars will stay around me. Psalm 101:7 (NCV)

You have a beautiful Ash tree in your back yard. The tree has been there since you first moved in. It’s been a climbing tree for your kids and now your grandkids. Their favorite tire swing hangs from that tree. It’s been the home of countless birds over the years, been shade for innumerable tea parties and withstood several storms and harsh winters.

Now, in a matter of a couple years it stands leafless. You noticed over the past couple years that its branches were becoming bare, but even so its nakedness catches you by surprise. You do some research and find out the culprit of your Ash tree’s demise is a little beetle about 1/3 of an inch long. The Emerald Ash Borer doesn’t look that impressive but it destroys thousands of trees every year.

In the same way that the Emerald Ash Borer destroys thousands trees every year, little white lies destroy or damage relationships. They start out small. Little ‘half-truths’ we call them. Little statements that we call harmless, but often grow more damaging as we try to cover our tracks.

A friend of mine was an investigator for law enforcement. One day he told me that he never believes the person he is investigating until he tells this story the third time. The first two times always add or take away facts that may incriminate him. The third version of the story usually brings all the facts together.

The Psalmist states clearly that dishonesty will never have a place under his roof. Why? Is he legalistic? Is he judgmental and demanding? Is he unfeeling and merciless? Not really. The Psalmist simply realizes that the most destructive thing to a relationship is a lie. Lies, regardless of their color, size or shape, are equally destructive to trust in a relationship.

Most of the time we lie to ourselves, others or even God (like he doesn’t know the truth!) to protect ourselves from conflict and/or to avoid consequences of our own behavior. Honesty with ourselves, others or God may be difficult and painful at first, but the pain we suffer for telling the truth the first time will be less than the pain we suffer for those ‘little white lies’ that grow into destructive monsters.

Take a lesson from the Emerald Ash Borer. Those little lies you tell will never help a relationship and will most likely cause damage in the long run. Being honest with yourself and with God is the first step to honesty with others.

PRAYER: Father God. I confess to you what you already know. I have a hard time being honest with you. I have a hard time being honest with others. I now realize that the difficulty I have with being honest is that I don’t feel good about me. Help me to have the confidence and strength to be honest with myself so I can be honest with others (including you). In Jesus name, Amen.

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September 2011
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