So many lies. Lies spoken, lies believed, lies lived. Perceptions clung to with no more truth than the fairy tales we watch on TV, with egos and feelings creating the constructs that support them. Evading the cognitive dissonance inherent in the difference between reality and belief. Inventing realities that conveniently cater to the most selfish, lazy, ignorant parts of ourselves and then lying some more to negate responsibility. Focusing on everything but the sickness in our own hearts. We are lazy, we are selfish, we hate the truth, and we’d rather discredit it and the people who speak it than move beyond our own ignorance and humble ourselves.
We so love our own fantasies about who we are and what the world is like. We harbor them, foster them, and fight everything that hints that maybe, just maybe, it’s all a lie. At best, we avoid the people who disagree. At worst, we seek to destroy. The slightest break in our self-deception and we turn into ravenous lions ready to spill blood at a moment’s notice. Sometimes only moments after we’ve portrayed ourselves as innocent little kittens. How deceived we are. In one way or another, we kill the seers and their truth-tellers in order to protect our lies…our self-image…and the made-up constructs that keep us safe from admitting fault or taking personal responsibility. In our most authentic core, we are murderers and liars.
We wonder. We wonder why the God of the Old Testament was “angry” and why the God of the New Testament had to die. We do not see that every ounce of His anger is rightful and just. Jesus died because He spoke the truth to people who did not want to hear it…people who held the power to put Him on the cross to shut him up…and they did. It was the only way to create a possibility for us to be cured and God wanted that more than his own comfort. Without the cross, we would be lost in our sickness forever. Because of the cross, we now have a choice…a possibility to be cured.
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple…. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.”
~Luke 14:26, 27 & 33
Whoever said salvation is free was not being very clear. Perhaps we did not pay money, but our salvation costs the world. It costs our flesh, our comfort, our pride, our self-indulgence, our laziness, our cowardice, our lusts, our greed, our egos, and our false self-perceptions. It costs our safety and our security. It costs us being “right” and it costs us every worldly thing we love. He loved us enough to tell us the truth about who we are, even though He knew we’d kill Him for it. Even though He knew that most of us would look the other way and not believe it. But He still did it, because some of us would be broken by the truth instead of hardened by it. Some of us would struggle in our pain and reach out to Him…desperate.
He did it for the few who would desire His salvation more than their pride. He did it for the few who would love His truth more than their lies. And for them, He promised that His work on the cross would be enough. And it was. It is. But it’s the hardness of His love that breaks the lies we believe. It’s the softness of His love that, once our deceptions have broken, will reconstruct us with the skill and precision of a perfect surgeon.
Yes, we will be made new. But it will always come at the cost of the lies we tell.