Have you ever played that game – Two Truths and a Lie? All the players have to write down two things that are true about themselves and one that is not. When your two truths and a lie are read to the group, the other players try to guess which one is a lie.
Of course, the ideal strategy is to come up with at least one truth that seems too far-fetched to be true and to invent a lie that is close enough to the truth to fool the other players. Tricky!
And if you have a close friend in the group, it gets even trickier. What lie can you come up with that will fool a good friend?
But sometimes, it’s more than a game. In real life there are truths about ourselves that we are willing to let others see, but there are others we are desperate to hide. So we tell half-truths or outright lies.
My daughter is doing great in school – good grades; the teachers love her; she has lots of friends (but hide the anorexia – she’s just naturally thin, you know – runs in the family)
My marriage is wonderful – twenty-four years this fall; just took a great cruise together; having a blast (but hide the hours he spends “at work” when you know he’s not at work)
My job is the best – great pay; great benefits (but hide the fact that it’s boring and Friday can’t come soon enough)
My relationship with God? Great, of course. I go to church every Sunday and help out in the nursery once a month. It’s super. (but hide the unopened Bible and the unused prayer journal)
The truth is that all of us have things we don’t want each other to see, but the truth is also that we need someone to see those things we hide.
We need God to see and to know that He loves us anyway.
We need loving friends to see and to help us work through our hidden things.
We need to be willing to show the truth to others who are working through the same problems.
We need to be real with each other, with ourselves, and with God.
Time to stop playing the game and to let the truth out.
Once again it’s time to join up with the Five Minute Friday community to explore this week’s prompt word – Truth. Check out the other ideas about truth at Kate Motaung’s blog – Heading Home.
Can I just say it? The word “should” is not one of my all-time favorite words.
It can stir up unpleasant, shamed, not-enough feelings. I tell myself I should. My family tells me I should. My co-workers tell me I should. My friends tell me I should. The world around me tells me I should.
And along with the word “should” come a few other words – “but you probably won’t.”
I have a to-do list for this weekend and it includes things I should do. A few of those “should do” items are troublesome to me because there is a voice in the back of my mind speaking to me about them.
“You should do that. Yes, you should, but you know that you put that on your to-do list last weekend and it didn’t get done then. What makes you think you’ll get it done this weekend? Why even bother putting it on your list?”
I’ve listened to that “probably won’t” accusation a few too many times. Enough times that it begins to scare me away from doing what I want to do and from doing what I am gifted and called to do.
I’ve listened to that accusation often enough that it has tainted the word “should” for me.
Instead of the source of condemnation, the word “should” can be an invitation to an adventure.
I love to craft so I should make some time in my weekends to make something beautiful.
It would be good for me to lose some weight so I should experiment with new recipes for low-fat foods.
Reading great books is good for my brain so I should see what my library has to offer.
Writing is a way for me to reach out to my world so I should look for ways to improve my writing.
God has given me a wonderful life so I should enjoy it and share it as much as I can.
Suddenly “should” is transformed from a shame-producing word into a peek into what could be just around the corner – from something I avoid to something I anticipate.
What about you? Are you letting the voice of our enemy accuse you with what you should do? Or are you letting God invite you into discovering the excitement of what you should do?
Today along with the other writers of Five Minute Friday at katemotaung.com I’m writing about the prompt word “should”. Come take a look at what the others are saying about this week’s prompt word.
Before I tell you my story, I want to make sure that you know that my husband may not be a perfect man, but he is a good man, a godly man even. He makes mistakes…big mistakes…but who doesn’t?
And you need to know that I love him, and I am absolutely sure that he loves me.
Now, the story. But where to start…
I really couldn’t believe this was happening again. I couldn’t believe it when it happened the first time. But let me tell you about the first time.
There was a famine in our land, and being practically gypsies, we broke camp and headed south looking for a place where the famine hadn’t come. We wandered all the way down into Egypt.
Now, my husband had heard stories about the people of Egypt – especially the princes of Pharaoh – and he was a little bit anxious. Maybe more than anxious. He was afraid that when the Egyptian princes got a look at me, they would kill him to get me. Now, I’m not bragging – it’s just a fact that I was considered to be quite a beautiful woman back then. Maybe you can see why the dear man was concerned.
I think I could have come up with a better plan, but this is the one Abram came up with. He said to me, “Dear wife, do me this little favor. When people ask who you are and what relation you are to me, please say that you are my sister.”
It really wasn’t a lie. I am his half sister. That’s not the problem. Perhaps you, like me, can see the problem. However, my mama taught me well. Respect your husband. Obey your husband.
And I can see you rolling your eyes about now. Respect him when he’s acting like a chicken? Obey him when he’s going to get you both in trouble?
My mama isn’t the only one who taught me some life lessons. This God that Abram had been following? He taught me a few things too. Back to that later.
So, sure enough, the princes of Pharaoh took one look and packed me off to the palace. I have to say that I was a little beside myself. What did Abram think was going to happen? Had he even considered what would surely happen to me? Didn’t he care that his wife was about to spend the rest of her life in an Egyptian harem? I expected to be called to the bedchamber of one of the princes at any moment.
But, instead, the weirdest thing happened. Pharaoh’s household began to suffer from all kinds of plagues – disgusting boils and sores, unexplained aches and pains, stomach problems. And guess who was the only one who stayed healthy through it all? Me.
Who do you think was behind all that?
The truth that I was Abram’s wife came out and Pharaoh sent a messenger to Abram. Before you know it I was on my way back to our tent along with a lot of presents which were meant to convince Abram to get out of Egypt.
Lesson learned. Right?
Time passed and God kept talking to Abram and to me too. God even made us a promise. We would have a son. Pretty incredible when you consider how old we were by then – 90 for me and 99 for him. Life was good!
Then the wander bug bit Abram again. We pulled up stakes and took off for the land of Gerar.
And – deja vu! History began to repeat itself.
I know – you’re saying, “Surely, Sarai, you put up a fight this time? Surely you at least reminded him about what happened the last time?”
I did try to very respectfully remind him, but I’m pretty sure he never heard a word. He just said, “Sarai, my darling, do me this little favor…”
And off I went to the house of Abimelech.
After a couple of months, Abimelech began to see that none of the women of his household – his wife and his female slaves – were getting pregnant. Curious and a bit worrisome.
The situation quickly became more than worrisome when God talked to Abimelech in a dream and threatened to kill him if he didn’t return me to Abram. The very next morning Abram was brought to Abimelech who was more than a little perturbed with Abram.
“What have you done to us? And how have I sinned against you, that you have brought on me and my kingdom a great sin? You have done to me things that ought not to be done.” (Genesis 20:9)
Of course, Abimelech was right. But after he calmed down he remembered that God had also told him that Abram was a prophet who could pray for the healing of the wombs of the women of his house.
When I heard Abimelech say that God had told him that Abram was a prophet, I knew again that God was taking care of the problem Abram caused.
God was taking care of me even when my husband was making kind of crazy decisions.
No matter what Abram did…no matter what I did…no matter what foreign kings did…God was in control.
Because God was in control…because I could trust Him implicitly…I could also be obedient and respectful and submissive to my imperfect husband.
So…how do you submit to a less than perfect husband? The one that is making decisions that you know are going to go bad?
Do what I did and trust God.
He’s got it.
This is the fourth story in the series: Through Her Eyes. Click here to find the rest of the series.