Last week Sierra, Sterling, Samantha and I drove to Lubbock to see a lady about a horse. We had talked to her on the phone and asked a bunch of questions to make sure the horse would be a good fit for Sierra. She assured us he was calm, obedient, gentle and would make a great horse for a beginner. She said he was her personal horse and the last one for sale. While she hated to get rid of him she would sell him to the right family. Since he was a beautiful paint horse with a reasonable price we drove the 5 1/2 hour round trip with the horse trailer intending to bring him back home. However, as we took turns riding the horse it was clear that the lady didn't tell us the truth. The horse went whichever direction it wanted, stopped when it wanted and trotted when it wanted. None of us could control the horse, including her. Not good. The more this went on the more defensive the lady became and her excuses explaining her horse's behavior became real creative. After about 20 minutes I could tell she felt humiliated. So we drove back home feeling tricked. I'm guessing she deceived us hoping that her horse might do good enough to fool us. Thinking that we might not notice its disobedient and stubborn nature and then she could get rid of it. It wasn't a total waste of time because I got to spend a lot of good quality time with three of my kids, but we were a little disappointed.
The more I thought about the dishonest horse trader, the more I realized that I had done that many times before.
I was not trying to deceive customers, becoming defensive while excusing bad behavior and trying to get rid of a horse. But trying to deceive God, becoming defensive while excusing bad behavior and trying to get rid of guilt.
Have you ever done that? Where you try to convince God that things in your life are better than they seem to be. All the while defending dishonest creative excuses. Hoping that the problems you have created will just go away and no one, including God, will notice the truth. Then you can be guilt-free.
While those times we are caught in deception can be humiliating, they can also be motivating and freeing. Then we can finally be honest with ourselves and say, "This is who I am right now, this is who I need to be and I trust God to help me get there." Sometimes it's not what you did or did not do in a certain situation, it's what you are or are not and being honest enough to admit it.