Monday May 9, 2011
One of the more difficult issues to deal with in relationships today is lies. In fact of all the factors that break down trust more, it is lies. If you can’t believe the person you are trying to cultivate a relationship with, you won’t trust them and won’t go deep with them. When someone lies and the lie is found out, it creates a kind of microscopic interaction. You begin to question everything that the person has to say and wonder if the person is telling you the truth. Lies create suspicion and suspicion creates mistrust and mistrust leads to relationship breakdown.
But what happens when someone is lying about us or our motives? What happens when they have our intentions all messed up and are saying we have done such and such when in fact we have done no such thing? What happens when we have the best intentions, yet they are saying that we are out only for ourselves and only want our own needs met? Doesn’t that make you crazy in trying to set them straight? We want to be right and when someone is lying about our motives or what we are doing, there is a natural tendency to set the record straight.
Nehemiah had that experience as he was rebuilding the wall. Sanballat was using lies to get Nehemiah to stop the work. “It is reported among the nations—and Geshem says it is true—that you and the Jews are plotting to revolt, and therefore you are building the wall. Moreover, according to these reports you are about to become their king, and have even appointed prophets to make this proclamation about you in Jerusalem: ‘There is a king in Judah!’ Now this report will get back to the king; so come, let us meet together.” (Neh. 6:6-7). This was not Nehemiah’s motive or intentions, but when we seek to set the record straight, we get off the path of what the Lord has in mind. Trying to set the record straight will lead the person telling the lies to only jump to another lie and another lie and a cause us to lose our way.
Nehemiah responded by writing a letter and saying, “Nothing like what you are saying is happening; you are just making it up out of your head.” (Neh. 6:8). Nehemiah then proceeded to pray to the Lord for strength. There is a pattern beginning to emerge on how Nehemiah responded to the opposition of what God had called him to do–PRAY.
On this journey there will be opposition and one area we will need to deal with is lies. Be careful not to go to far off the track in defending yourself because lies are used as a smokescreen to divert your attention off God’s call.