Some people believe in cause and effect. Others believe in free choice. Regardless of whether you believe in one, both, or neither, every event is preceded by another, right? I know society as we know it teaches us not to place blame or judge or make decisions based upon a sense of absolute morality, but how does one move without some sense of solidity?
I’ve always been a talented finger pointer. I talk about how I was bullied through middle school, how I’ve been betrayed, how I’ve been ridiculed, how my hopes have been mocked. I’m great at that, I dare say one of the best.
I’m also great at ignoring the rest. What does that mean? It means I’m good at not flipping the coin and looking at things from the other side, because I’ve done some absurd things in my life that warrant just as much finger pointing.
Deceit is the placing of barriers between opposing truths. What does that mean? It means when I think that someone doesn’t like the way I really am, I put up a wall to trick them into thinking that I am something that conforms to my assumption of their standards. So whenever I or anyone else lies, it is done to prevent pain, avoid animosity. This is a way the nature of a liar can be understood. Don’t get me wrong. Even though I find myself lying occasionally, I don’t approve of it, and I’m aware that it makes me a hypocrite, and I’m working on that.
The prophecies of Jeremiah talk about how “the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked.” Is it not true? When you encounter something you don’t want to face, the easy way out is to deny it, make up some excuse, fake your way through to survive it. Over the past four years, I have personally learned how deeply true this is.
One of the many ways this has become evident to me is in dealing with my feelings for one girl, feelings I had several years ago now. To understand, though, how this is related to the deceitful heart, you have to know a little bit about what I was made of at that time. Back then, I was very emotionally insecure, and one thing that I thought would cure me is having a girlfriend. I had things I wanted in a lover, but it was a strange time in my life. I was talented at making myself believe anyone were an option. It’s not that I intentionally did that, but it was how I did things, how I pursued what I wanted in spite of the opposition of my conscience.
So, I’ll make a long story short. I made myself believe I knew someone better than I did, that I knew them well enough to be more than friends. Eventually, transparent as I am (which is natural for me), she figured it out and bluntly rejected me. I didn’t take it well. Yeah, yeah, who would? But as emotionally insecure as I was, and intellectually prideful as I still can be, I really didn’t take it well. I was very angry about it, and it lingered.
My heart is as deceitful as any other. I didn’t want to accept that we could never have made it work in the first place, let alone that I was horrible enough to be rejected at all; but deep down, I knew. I knew all along that I was wrong, and I should have let it go a lot sooner than I did. Had I been less arrogant about the state of my own heart, I would have been able to see outside of my own wishes for a lover, and into the heart of someone who was a fantastic friend, and that I could have been okay with us staying simply that.
When we live by our own impulses and assumptions about ourselves, others, and the relationships that connect us, we believe a lie that we ourselves have created. We don’t always know how things should be, and when we learn this, great freedom is found in the fulfillment of everything we were meant to be, and not what we wish we were. God made us so beautiful. Learning who we truly are inside, breaking past the lies of worthlessness or of self-exaltation, is the greatest thing a person can achieve. In the end, the truth is all that matters; and the truth is that you are beautiful, and you are loved by an amazing God.