Ever Feel Like You’ve been Lied to?

Happens all the time, doesn’t it?

3 siblings.

Each with a different version of what happened.

Parent hears the most effective communicator of the 3 tell the story. 

Believes.

Other parent hears the other 2′s versions… not sure who to believe.

Parents discuss. 

They disagree.

Get kids together. 

Go through the whole thing again.

As it turns out, more details are added, a different picture is painted, and option 4, the real Truth, then presents itself.

Thankfulness is experienced by both parents, as no one flew off the handle before getting the whole story.

Situation is talked through and explained.  All 3 parties no longer feel “wronged” but instead understand Truth.

Which, wasn’t even on anyone’s radar.

In the last week, I’ve had at least three separate instances where I thought someone maybe wasn’t telling the Truth.

In all three of them, I wondered about the character and credibility of the story tellers. 

I didn’t accuse, however, I got more information.Image

And, in all three situations, the “real Truth” turned out to be an option I hadn’t considered, with elements from the different perspectives, that made the situations seem True to the story tellers.  But in the end, we learned we were ALL experiencing a “paralax” (visual perspectives from different angles that look different, even though all the different angles are focused on the same object).

Relationships get damaged when we level judgment and accusation instead of asking questions.  In all of the situations, with all of the people involved, there were moments were I literally didn’t know who or what to believe.  And several times I was fairly certain that someone might be lying. 

Truth is, in human interaction, we are often so quick to judge that we get too much of our exercise jumping to conclusions.  James 1:19 tells us, “Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and even slower to become angry.”  One of the biggest dangers we face as Christians is being judgmental.  We get this way by not listening.  Or by thinking we’ve listened and have the full Truth. 

Pride wants us to be right.  And blinds us to options.

Love wants us to believe the best about others.  To be patient, kind, not jealous, not bragging, not arrogant, not acting unbecomingly, not seeking its own, not provoked, not keeping a list of wrongs, not rejoicing in unrighteousness, but with Truth, bearing all things, believing all things, hoping all things, and enduring all things, never failing. (1 Cor 13 roughly written)

Sunday in Daughters of Sarah, we taught about conflict.  The first step is always listening and asking questions. The goal of conflict is God’s Best…not being right.  Fettering out what God’s Best is requires dialogue and Q & A.

Given what Love is in 1 Corinthians 13, I think we are wise to not jump to conclusions.  I think we are wise to work Proverbs 12:16 (overlooking an insult) and Matthew 18 (talking to the person who might be causing the issue first, instead of going to someone else, then taking someone with us who has also witness the issue if s/he doesn’t listen) and be good listeners FIRST, rather than jumping to conclusions. 

Thankfully, in all of our situations this week, we managed to fetter out Truth by asking questions and didn’t wrongly accuse anyone in a heated exchange.  I can’t tell you how many other times I’ve blown it, only to learn later that I was also wrong…and the guilt and regret at how I behaved was awful.  I’m so thankful, that I can look on a week surprisingly themed with lies, and smile and actually see God’s Spirit showing up in my own and my family’s behavior – FINALLY!! :)  I was out of the way enough to let God do His thing.  I can’t take credit, however, as it was fully the work of the Spirit.  What was glorious and honoring to God, was in one of the situations, we had one of my kids apologize for a wrong he didn’t even commit, just because at that point in time, we thought he had been involved – he wasn’t sure if he had, but his attitude about making things right to heal another was just lovely.  And we apologized to him when we finally learned what was True.  But no one yelled at anyone, no one said words they wished they hadn’t, and searching for and finding His Truth set us all free.

Dare you today to EXTEND GRACE when you feel you’ve been wronged.  Even if it looks obvious to you that you’ve been assaulted.  Double Dog Dare you to ASK QUESTIONS and be a good listener.  SEARCH for the Truth, remembering that the other guy doesn’t want you to have it, just so he can keep your relationships messed up.  And finally, Triple Dog Dare you to APOLOGIZE when you are wrong.  Pride and the other guy don’t want you to, but it is absolutely the salve that is needed to help others move on, and for you to lose the guilt baggage. 

The single most important thing I’ve learned in the last ten years is this:  I can tell how much Jesus is in me if when faced with confrontations, am I getting angry, or am I searching for the Truth, and trying to help people heal. 

I still get angry and defensive.  Too often. 

But this last week, I had a glimpse of Him in me.  And it gave me hope that He IS changing me – and the peace I have with my family and how we internally handled these things makes me smile.  I see Him in them, too.

And know that we’re not proud of any of this, just thankful for Him.  Thankful He changes people.  Overflowing with gratitude that He can live grace out in the day to day in a family who is as ordinary and ridden with conflict opportunities as anyone else’s. Thankful that together, once in a while, He shows up through us. 

And that’s where we are today.  I know as sure as I know I’m sitting here writing this right now, that in a year, everything could be different.  We’re all capable of walking away from Him.  I wish with every fiber of my being that wasn’t true, but unfortunately it is.  Dear God, may it never happen to any of us.

Privileged to be on the journey with you…

Love to you,

~Nina

Comments

  1. says

    Nina; this is one of the most thought provoking reads. I copied and pasted most of it to my ex. Simply because there is his side, my side and the truth. He believes his is the truth and mine is the lie. He refuses to see anything other than his side. He is a very proud man and his refusal after refusal for therapy continues to show that pride.

    I am in a place of humility. I am willing to work on and through to find the truth. But you know this.

    Thank you for this post. I has really touched my heart and made me cry. Because more than anything I want him to to go with me to therapy and for us to discover the truth together in the safety of the therapist’s office.

    One last thing….

    Look out for wacky robins.

  2. Tona Cornelius says

    Uh-huh. Are you listening in on my chats with the Lord again???? : ) : ) Love you bunches!

  3. hope44 says

    Hello Nina,
    I feel very discouraged right now and feel like giving up on having a marriage filled with love, respect and intimacy. About a year ago I took your online respect e-course, learned so many good things, but have failed to apply them in my marriage over and over again.

    I desperately want to be changed by the Holy Spirit and glorify God in my marriage but can’t seem to surrender my fears, destructive thoughts, and sharp tongue to Him. I have major trust issues and fear my husband lies to me even though he has reassured me time and time again that he is honest. And last night I accused him of a heinous act, one of which there was NO hard evidence. The accusation came from my fears which were triggered by an inappropriate action from him. He is now very hurt and angry and says that our relationship may change because of my accusation.

    I really don’t know what else to do and feel like I am hopeless in changing :( Read about respect more, study the Bible more, pray more ???? Which is all good stuff but they don’t seem to be changing my stubborn and unwilling heart. How do I control my will to yield in obedience when my will seems to have a mind of its own?? I am so exhausted being a failure and I realize that I can’t change myself; I just don’t know “HOW” to surrender it all to God. I just don’t know “HOW” to trust God :( Please keep me in your prayers.

    • Nina Roesner says

      Hope44 -
      I’m so sorry!! This IS hard – and I fully understand your pain. I’ve been there, desperate and desiring, and fully wanting and fully incapable.

      This is the work of the Holy Spirit, not something you can do on your own.

      I had to come to a place like you, where I couldn’t DO it. I just couldn’t get it to happen on my own, and I prayed something like, “Lord, I WANT so badly to be better, to do things the way You want them done, to see more of You and less of me in my life…and I don’t even know how. I’m doing all the things everyone says to do, I spend time reading Your Word, I pray, I listen for Your Voice, and I try my best to do what Your Word says and I’m still just such a mess… I don’t get it, is this all there ever is?? I thought You were a God that split seas, flooded land, brought plagues, healed paraplegics, and broken hearts – I don’t get it…either You are Who You say You are, or You are not, and I believe You are… but I need You to help me get it, because I just don’t…” in my heart, I prayed “in Jesus’ name,” but I just crumpled to the floor in a heap and wept.

      That was more than ten years ago.

      And we’ve wrestled off and on ever since, but He’s making headway in my life. He has taught me not to fear.

      He’ll do that for you, too. But you have to want it deeply, and you have to ask Him to teach you how to trust Him that much.

      Yesterday, I went running while one of my kids had a guitar lesson downtown. Halfway through my run, I realized I hadn’t locked my car, and had left my purse in it.

      I just prayed, “Lord, it would really stink if my absentmindedness caused me a whole lot of work to cancel credit cards, and I really don’t want to lose what is in my purse. I am sorry I was irresponsible. I know You knew I was going to be. I don’t deserve it, but would You please just protect my purse? Keep theives away from my car and keep it all safe until I get back? And if You choose not to, I know I’ll learn something and I’ll trust You with that, too.” And that was the end of it. I didn’t worry one single moment. No matter what the outcome was, I knew He had it covered. And I was thankful that I didn’t worry.

      That’s the work of the Spirit. :)

      Praying for you, lovely. Hang in there. Stay on the journey. It IS hard, but worth it. And in the meantime… maybe a little unsolicited advice, which, btw, might be worth what you paid for it, which is nothing:

      http://ninaroesner.com/2011/08/12/and-once-again-i-behaved-badly/

      And watch the video. Sounds like you need a reminder today of what it’s about. You are precious. :)

      Love to you,
      ~Nina

      • hope44 says

        Nina,
        Thank you for words of encouragement. I praise God for your compassionate response. And I appreciate your testimony about being at peace while your purse was left in an unlocked car. I desperately want that peace in ALL situations. I will persevere, seek His truth, practice obedience, and do all this in His strength. This is what I must live every day: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” Proverbs 3:5. Have a blessed night.

      • hope44 says

        In my prior post, I meant to quote both Proverbs 3:5-6. Which is my prayer for today. Have a blessed day.

        Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

    • says

      Hope44 – I have and to an extent still am in your shoes. My divorce was final last year. In the end I tried to stop it. Even today I copied and pasted this article to him – not all of it but the important parts. I hope he reads it and he will agree to go to counseling with me. Even if I don’t get what I want out of it – which is complete restoration of our love and our marriage. If he would just do it for the children because right now, there is no communication between us that doesn’t end up being negative.

      I too have trust issues. My motto is “God’s Got This” and I have to remind myself that more than a dozen times a day.

      I am re-doing the Respect Dare, using God as the one I am in the relationship with because that is where we need to be is in a relationship with Him.

      I wish I had had the walk with God then that I had now because I would still be married.

      I am still having issues with regard to my ex. I have hurt and resentment and I need to let those go. I have fears of totally losing him forever. I want and pray for a healing and I pray for a miracle because at this point, that is all that could happen. Its in God’s hands and God’s Got This.

      Hang in there and follow Nina’s advice. This book would not be here without her having walked in our shoes. This is an amazing book and it has certainly changed my point of view with regard to both a relatinoship with God as well as a relationship with the man I still refer to as my husband when I don’t catch myself.

      I am not in denial about the divorce. I know its real and it happened. Hang in there.

      • hope44 says

        Sarah,
        Thank you for relating to me and sharing your story. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.