This life seems to favor those that live a lie; living a lie or telling a lie is about the same but before I delve deep into this very controversial issue that denies us from reaching our full potential, I would love to define “lie” as inscribed in the Encarta Dictionary;
1. deliberately say something untrue: to say something that is not true in a conscious effort to deceive somebody
· He lied about his age in order to get into the army.
2. be deceptive: to give a false impression
· Don’t forget that appearances can lie.
The above definition (1) talks about deceiving somebody as an act of lie but the greatest injustice someone can do, is to lie to himself/herself. Let me use these three scenarios of my acquaintances as a background for my discussion;
1. A colleague of mine, a Moslem brother who had gone to Mecca twice, left Nigeria to the UK for his MBA. His first day in the city that hosted his proposed school, was spent in a restaurant where he was treated with ham. After eating it, he proclaimed he had never had anything so delicious and promised the waiter he was going to be a regular visitor. He got to his apartment and quickly checked the dictionary for the meaning of ham; he was full of rage when he discovered he had eaten pork. He quickly went to the toilet to vomit it; after clearing his bowel, he went back to his room and took a can of beer with ease and comfort.
2. My former boss, a devout Hindu brother, left Nigeria to Paris for his usual business deals and he was offered Chicken in a restaurant by his host company. He immediately looked around critically and realized there was no Indian in the room. He had chewed the chicken half way when he noticed the representative of the host company was eaten vegetables; he quizzed him on his prefrences and the man boldly announced he was a devout Hindu.
3. A close friend, a devout born-again Christian, told me she refused the position of chief bride’s maid for her best friend claiming the proposed bride was pregnant meaning she had sex before marriage. One year after this incident, my close friend told me she was separated from her husband and was filling for a divorce. She immediately added that another friend of ours was getting married but this friend of ours was pregnant; she poignantly said she would not be found dead in the wedding.
These stories, if examined deeply, are symptoms of schizophrenia and this condition should be taken very seriously. Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” specifically talks on human denial of the monsters within them which ultimately leads to our destruction and low self esteem. The ability to recognize these denials are the major difference between man and animal. No wonder, Jesus admonishes us to remove the log in our eyes before we try to remove the speck in others. The frailties of self denial are vivid enough in example 1 where a Moslem brother is permissive of what is comfortable and denies the uncomfortable. As a Christian convert from an Islamic background, I am very certain that beer is frowned on by Moslem with the same degree pork is frowned on, then why is the Moslem brother above comfortable with the beer?
The second story was conveyed to me by the actor himself and I remembered how he laughed at himself for not being bold enough to proclaim he was a Hindu who did not care to eat meat in front of other fellow Hindus but the last story was the height of self deception. She could not examine herself to recognize her own sin though she strongly judged others.
I am beginning to worry if “murder” is a higher degree of sin than “lying” because lying to oneself is an offshoot of pride which the Lord resists. I believe we should quiz ourselves from time to time in order to examine ourselves deeply. I will recommend this film “CRASH” (Academy Awards’ Best Picture) as a resource material to further expatiate on the paradox of human deficiencies.
What is the solution to all this? I strongly believe we should acknowledge our weaknesses and not to quickly judge others no matter the situation. If we view others with this lens, it will become easier to accept other peoples frailties and the commandment of God will be adhered to which supports loving your neighbors as yourself……………………………………………………………………….
Please, kindly trap your ideas on the comment section.