Tag Archive | lying

It Starts With Spilled Milk

After my post the other day regarding lying, I had a conversation with several young moms about how to encourage an atmosphere of grace in their homes when they are more prone to be rule followers.

spilled-milkThat’s a great question. I think it starts with spilled milk.

Surely every parent, sometime in their parent life, has experienced a child spilling milk or some sticky drink either at the dinner table or in the car or on the carpet. Your reaction to these accidents helps set the tone for bigger mistakes in your child’s future.

Mistakes are opportunities to grow and learn.

Here’s what I suggest could be said in different circumstances.

Your child spills his/her drink.

Oops! Well, I’ve spilled my share of drinks, too. Let’s clean it up together and see what we can do to be more careful in the future.

Your child breaks a favorite item of yours on accident.

I’m sad this got broken, but I know you didn’t mean to break it. It’s just a thing. You’re more important to me than that [insert broken item].

You forget to do something you promised your child you’d do. 

I’m sorry I forgot to do [insert whatever it is]. I was wrong to not follow through on what I said. Will you forgive me?

These are all common circumstances that every family can relate to. Building an environment where your child is not afraid to tell you they did something is critical to helping them understand that grace reigns in your household. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t consequences for their bad choices, but choosing to do something wrong and having something happen by accident are different.

Open dialog happens from a very early age. Listen to your children with your full attention. Ask them questions. Help them come to their own conclusions about issues. Let them express themselves in an appropriate, respectful manner.

With my kids, I found that there was a little bit of a Catch-22: We had such a close relationship that they didn’t want to disappoint me, even if I had never made performance a priority. The notion that lying to me is more disappointing than the original act doesn’t seem to get through their heads!

The most important thing I think I do is to keep telling them, “I love you.” And it’s never the person I’m disappointed in, it’s the choice. That is emphasized time and again.


Amongst many other forgotten things, I’ve had countless items borrowed and lost, and a favorite bowl knocked off the counter and smashed, all accidents. All covered by grace because the lossshattered-trust was unintentional.

But I’ve also had my trust absolutely demolished like that favorite bowl by a child lying right to my face. Things hidden from me because that child knew those actions would grieve me.

But grace wins every time. God will deal with the sin. I’ve given consequences for the actions to my minor kids. But for my adult children, I’ve cried, prayed, told them truth over and over, but ultimately, their decisions are part of the journey God has them on.

And sometimes that journey goes through the stream of spilled milk. Will it be a sour experience or a sweet one, ending in a pool of grace?

OJ Didn’t Do It (and other myths I’ve believed)

I am an optimist by ntruth vs liesature, and I like to believe what people tell me. After 54 years on planet Earth, I’ve had a few things chip away at that naiveté. For instance, back in the day when O.J. Simpson was accused of murdering his wife and waiter Ronald Goldman, I thought there was no way he could be guilty. He was a football icon, for heaven’s sake. How could he have done something so terrible?

Well, apparently I was wrong. My faith in humanity took a huge dip. Recently, I have been confronted by the arrest of Bill Cosby, an entertainer whose work I have loved over many, many years. I have read differing points of view: some people say it’s about race, some think the women accusing him only want notoriety and money, others think he’s an evil person. He hasn’t been convicted, of course, but why would so many women lie?

Then there’s Woody Allen and Ben Roethlisberger and Jameis Winston. I’m sure I could name more. Who’s telling the truth?

Did you know that Tim Tebow travels with a small entourage all the time so that he’s never alone? Not only does he want the accountability, he wants there to be no opportunity for anyone to accuse him of anything, because there is always a witness.

My daughter is reading Chuck Colson’s book Born Again for school and I’ve been reading along with her, sometimes to her because it’s so complicated, and I am seeing that not everything you read in the media is right. Go figure. We complain now about a biased media, but they sure were biased back in the 70’s as well. There was so much going on behind the scenes in Washington during the whole Watergate scandal, but apparently many of the inflammatory headlines were completely fabricated. Rumors fly so freely, especially in this day of the internet, that separating truth from fiction is very difficult. Anyone can say something about someone and suddenly it’s gospel truth.

Even a solid track record doesn’t guarantee a hero won’t fall. Everyone is vulnerable. But we also know that people have been accused falsely, like Chuck Colson was. So how do we know?

I don’t believe being suspicious of everyone is the answer. The Bible tells us to be discerning, (1 Kings 3:9 for one: “So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”), and that comes only through prayer. God alone knows the truth when it comes down to he said/she said. It’s not our job to determine who’s lying unless we’re on a jury. Our job is to pray, to share the gospel, and to love those who have fallen because but for the grace of God, there would we be as well.

image from NTK.com—Don’t believe a word they say

What Is Truth?

truthWe have been inundated lately with ‘fessers; those who now feel the need to come clean on some sin of the past about which they have been silent heretofore. Lance Armstrong comes first to mind. I supported the guy. Never failed a drug test, yadda, yadda. Remember O.J? I didn’t think there was any way he could have committed the terrible crimes of which he was accused. I’d seen him run with a football. I knew him. I have a Barry Bonds bobblehead on my shelf. I’d like to believe him. Recently we’ve been hearing about Notre Dame football player Manti Te’o. He is denying having a role in the dead-girlfriend hoax. I don’t know him at all, but I’d like to believe him. I’m all for the “innocent until proven guilty” way of doing things.

Those are some athletes I can think of.

Don’t even get me started on politicians.

Movies that depict the good guys, like police officers or firemen, going bad make my blood boil. I was a faithful watcher of the TV show “24,” but I was always so irritated by the traitors, the evil infiltrators who lied and schemed and made people trust them. Made ME trust them. It’s just not right.

There is something deep within us that wants truth. We want to be able to trust people. Those who lie to us break our hearts down deep inside. I don’t want to become a cynical person, but the plethora of public liars puts us at a disadvantage. Who, really, can we trust? If my spouse says he’s not cheating on me, can I truly believe him? If my sons say they aren’t looking at pornography on the computer, do I take them at their word? (Yes, but I also have a filtering and accountability program on all the computers.)

Where is the integrity? Who can we really trust?

In John 14:6, Jesus declares, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Phew. Finally. And how can we know that we can trust Him? Look at His track record. Has He ever not followed through on something He said He was going to do? Has He ever told us anything that wasn’t true? That’s what got the pharisees so upset: He told the truth, and it didn’t reflect well on them.

Try Him; test Him. He is trustworthy. His followers died painful deaths for what they believed to be true about Him. I believed Lance Armstrong, but I wouldn’t have died for him. I didn’t trust him that much. He is human, after all.

Ah, that would be the difference: human vs. divine. One you can never fully trust; one you can bet your life on.

Thankful today for:

774. Giggling girls

775. flowers in January

776. grades nearly done

777. people I can trust

778. old friends

779. new growth

780. scented oils in a warming bowl

781. service projects

782. shadows

783. orange juice

784. natural health care

785. my sisters, who make me smile

786. my brother, even though I never hear from him 🙂

787. worship music

788. warm sunshine streaming in my windows