Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge, Thumb Point

October 16th, 2008

Focus Text: Proverbs 6: 12-15  (NLT)

 12 What are worthless and wicked people like?
      They are constant liars,
 13 signaling their deceit with a wink of the eye,
      a nudge of the foot, or the wiggle of fingers.
 14 Their perverted hearts plot evil,
      and they constantly stir up trouble.
 15 But they will be destroyed suddenly,
      broken in an instant beyond all hope of healing.

 

Stop Here and Reflect Before Reading Ahead

Unfortunately, I’m no stranger to dishonesty.  As a teacher, I witnessed it from the front row of the educational arena.  In my eleventh grade U.S. History class, during a test I once caught a young man hiding answers written on his desk with his elbow, exchanging answers with the student in the desk behind him.  I’ve seen students glance over at others’ papers and I’ve heard every lame and false excuse that you can imagine.  Time would not permit the telling of every instance of cheating that I saw as a teacher.

Once, a student tried to convince me that he had forgotten his homework because he was too busy personally taking care of his parents, both who apparently had Alzheimers.  They didn’t and he didn’t get credit for the assignment.  On another occasion, I actually witnessed a young man spit dip juice on another student; I know . . . gross.  Even though I saw him do it, he denied it with such veracity that he was almost believable.  The tales have been tall and the stories have been creative.  Problem is, they’ve often been completely untrue.

Unfortunately, my tenure in ministry has also produced thousands of examples of dishonesty. I’ve actually seen people who were studying for the ministry cheat on their exams.  Cheat on their ministry exams?!  Yeah, seems a little counterproductive, don’t you think?  I’ve been lied to about every issue from relationships to religion, habits to home lives, and dialogue to dating.  I don’t think that it would be an exaggeration to say that some students have personally lied to me forty to fifty times a piece.

We live in a society that seems less concerned than ever with the truth.  The current election demonstrates this phenomenon in that daily we receive conflicting and contradictory information from both sides of both campaigns.  We could account for some of this by blaming the slant of the stories by the media.  However, even in their debates, the candidates each seem to say the exact opposite facts and both claim that their versions are true.  But when the commentators review the debates, no one seems appalled that it’s obvious that someone, or possibly both someones, are lying.  The truth is an afterthought.  Let’s just keep thumb pointing and talking about the economy!

I’ve encountered individuals that lied so much that I’m honestly not sure that they even know how to tell the truth anymore.  In some disturbing way, their constant lying may have caused them to be convinced that what they are saying is true.  Hey, when you lie so much that you can no longer keep up with it or even remember what’s true, something’s terribly wrong.

In my own life, I constantly encounter situations in which a partial truth would do nicely.  It’s so easy! Sometimes I find myself saying something and then thinking to myself, “Is that the entire truth.”  It’s not deliberate; it’s convenient.  Sometimes, I do it to preserve the feelings of others.  You know, like Andy Griffith (please tell me you watch The Andy Griffith Show) always seemed to find nice ways to “bend” the truth to make sure the show had a happy ending.  Well, shucks Andy; that seems just swell!

Truth, however, is the foundation upon which our hearts are established.  Like so many structures we casually walk into every day, our minds seldom give thought to the underground foundations beneath us.  Instead, we focus on the decor and the layout of the interior.  We just assume that everything we can’t see is well-built.  The truth of the matter, though, is actually a matter of truth.  The work of the engineers and contractors who poured those foundations is much more important than the work of the interior designers.  If the foundation gives way, no one will care what color the drapes were.

I suppose that’s why Solomon was so blunt in his description of those who are dishonest, calling them “constant liars.”  Ouch!  But these aren’t just compulsive liars who live an existence of dishonesty; this passage also refers to deceit that is hidden and crafty.  Winking eyes.  Nudging feet.  This kind of dishonesty is deliberately concealed and easily sold.  I can almost feel the “thumb points” aimed in my direction.

My purpose isn’t to point my “thumb” at others.  Hey, when you point one thumb at someone else, there are four thumbs pointed back . . . wait, that doesn’t really work.  Anyhoo, the focus of this passage shouldn’t just be to vent about everybody else’s dishonesty; it should cause us to search our own hearts for cracks in the foundation.  We all thumb point . . . spiritually, of course.  My personal prayer is that the personality of Christ that dwells within me will alert my heart when my mouth has inadvertently or purposefully spoken some, half, most, or in some cases, none of the truth.

These particular verses end with a sobering prediction for a dishonest lifestyle: “sudden destruction.” Yousers!  Sure, this is definitely referring to one’s eternal consequences, but such a verse shouldn’t only make us think of doom and gloom or the end of the world.  Just consider the times in your own life when the truth caught up with you and exposed inconsistencies in your story.  What were the consequences?  Getting grounded.  Losing a job.  The end of a relationship. The inability to be trusted again.  These are all examples of “sudden destruction.”   

But it doesn’t have to be that way!  We each have the opportunity to strengthen the foundations of our lives with the truth and a lifestyle of complete honesty.  If you mess it up, make it right now.  Hey, as this scripture reveals, it’s going to come out sooner or later– sooner is the better choice.

 

 

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~ by johndriver on October 16, 2008.

One Response to “Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge, Thumb Point”

  1. I have something to with lying before…-_- I lied about something I did to cover it up. HUSH! We all have.. Anyway.. It took a little bit of time to get their trust back. It hurts when you know that you broke trust with a person you care about. They feel like you cant tell them anything. Even if its nothing big. I still lied. When I did lie it hurt me as well. I felt like a part of my friend and I had lost something between us. It felt like part of the puzzle was missing. Lying hurts not only the person but everyone. Trust is a HUGE part of peoples relationships. God knows when we are not being honest. For us to just sit there and continue to pretend like He doesn’t know is ridiculous! It hurts God too. That’s whats hard to think about. Even though He already knows we are gonna do it. It still hurts. I wonder if God prepares Himself for these kind of things… Its so true when we just leave out a little part of the truth..I mean its just a little but still. God knows. Even if the person doesn’t know we have just broken their trust in us. God knows and I think that’s worse..

    Good Blog
    ~Emily :]

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