“He who chooses to be a master never does just enough to get by; nor does he cut corners or attempt to cheat the system. He who chooses mastery lives his life asking, ‘How can I do more, give more, be more, and thereby accelerate the achievement of my ultimate destiny?’.” -James Arthur Ray
Burn me once shame on you, burn me twice shame on me. The war against trickery seems to be fought on a daily basis. My favorite book, the Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, not only addresses such deceit, but the very worst kind….The lies we tell ourselves!
We have an awful way of breaking our own hearts with some of the things we convince ourselves of, however, when another person takes it upon themselves to do the breaking, it seems much harder to recover. There is nothing worse than coming to find out the truth you very much believed in was all the while a fraud. I am not a stranger to this tragedy. In fact, I may as well have written it myself. I have been both the liar and the lied to and can confidently say both are just as painful. Thank God I was blessed with the opportunity to rebuild the bridges I burned with the fire of my tongue, but sadly there are people who are completely content in watching the cinders burn. People who lie for sport. People who simply do not care what they have to do or who they have to hurt in getting what they are after.
But no, the people are like crafty merchants
selling from dishonest scales –
they love to cheat (Hosea 12:7 NLT)
Honesty is the foundation of all relationships whether they be with others or ourselves. One cannot plant strong roots in weak soil. When we lie, cheat, and manipulate in order to satisfy our wants, we forfeit our ability to attain true happiness and simultaneously destroy the idea of that happiness for those we hurt when they realize what we have done. It is so much easier for everyone if we say what we mean and mean what we say. God sees all the things we do when we think no one is watching.
The sick feeling that accompanies being a fake is actually discernment. We know very well what we are doing in the midst of dishonesty and that it is not okay, but money, lust, and fear have brilliant ways of convincing us otherwise. Regardless of the temporal gain we may feel we achieve via cutting corners and the hearts of others, the long lasting outcome is loss of much more than we realize. In an instant all the things the devil promises you will fade and you will be left empty handed and full of regret.
Do not get caught red handed in the cookie jar. If you know you shouldn’t be eating a cookie then don’t eat one! If you want a cookie that badly ask for one! God would rather you ask for help than see you take matters into your own hands despite the consequences. He knows your desires and He knows much better than you whether or not what you crave now will be satisfying to your long term happiness. Trust Him and be trusted by others. Eventually someone will notice they are low on cookies and you will be the only one around with chocolate on your face and
a tummy ache!