It is amazing how important the truth is in every aspect of our lives and, at the same time, how difficult it can be to come by. Most of us, if asked, would say we are very honest people, and in that statement we would be dishonest about our own honesty. We lie, stretch the truth, exaggerate, etc. on a daily basis in different ways. The reason I am saying this is because, here, we come face-to-face with situations each day where it is very difficult to unearth the truth. When you are in a different culture and people are speaking a different language, it is very hard to read who is lying and who is not. On top of that, many people here are very used to americans and know how to spin a good story to make americans believe them and feel compassion for them. And then on top of that, if you have read our previous posts, you know that we are approached every single day by people who want us to help them.
So, what is the point of this post?
The point of this post is that pretty recently I was fed up with certain people for telling us lies that we would have to be very unintelligent to believe. I got really irritated by them (I won’t go into specifics but some of them are pretty ridiculous) because of how much easier it would be for these people to just tell us the truth. In the midst of this, I realized something about myself…I am judging people for the very thing I do all of the time. I am irritated by people because they are lying to me, but how often do I stretch the truth? How often do I lie to myself or even hold things back from GOD (like He doesn’t know) and immediately expect GOD to forgive me or to understand why I am doing it.
I guess the bottom line is how much easier it is for me to judge other people than it is to look at my own life and realize how much I need forgiveness, love, and mercy from GOD and from others. I am not saying that it is ok for other people to lie to me. I am not saying that is ok to believe other people even when they are clearly dishonest and lying to my face just because they put a good story around it. What I am saying is that it is not my job to judge, it is my job to love, forgive, and show mercy even when it is really difficult. If I am honest, I am not even close to being able to do this. I still expect others to forgive me for things that I struggle to forgive others for. I especially expect GOD to forgive me for everything without being able to forgive others. It is difficult.
I guess what we need here in Haiti is 2 very specific things…We need compassion and love for everyone no matter how they treat us or what they tell us, and we need discernment so that we do not make mistakes with people who tell us one thing and mean another. Does this sound familiar? I got to thinking that it was only here that we need these things. That people are always coming to us with stories and lies and so we need to understand how to handle it. But isn’t this everywhere? In America it may be different, but there are still people who want things from us, who lie to us to get what they want, and who we need to show compassion and love for no matter what.
Please join us in prayer here where the culture and language make it even more difficult, but please don’t think this is a “Haiti” problem. This is a human problem. I think we all need to remember that we are liars, cheats, and really just evil sinners that desperately need to be forgiven and loved by GOD and forgiven and loved by others.