Rigorous Honesty, I Lied

I told a lie two years ago. No unintentional, accidental, white-lie. It was a bare-faced lie. The actual story is inconsequential, but the reason for the lie is worse. I see from the ripple effect that lying is a terrible evil. One lie could lead to a second to cover the first, a third to cover the second, and so on.

An individual asked me to take care of something that they could not do. I said, “sure, I’ll handle it.” I fully intended to take care of the situation, but not as a priority, so I forgot. Then I remembered, but couldn’t take care of it that moment, so I forgot again. Two months later when asked if I took care of the situation, I said…gulp, yes, and, “Thar she blows!” It was a fictional story more epic than “Moby Dick.” I then scrambled to do the task…days later. Was I sorry? At the moment, yes. Give it a little time, and as “they” say, time heals all wounds. This was a gaping hole in my personal integrity, unjustifiable.

“Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds.” Col.3:9 NKJV

“Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.” The Big Book of AA (step 10)

The friend knew I was lying, but didn’t call me on it, at that moment. All I really had to say was, “no I did not, I will do it immediately.” They may not have appreciated that statement, but no lie would have been told. The task was not majorly hard, but tedious, and I put it off. The sick thing is to me is that the lie came from my procrastinating, not considering the other who asked feelings, the lie was next, then reproach on Christ, guilt followed, then reproach on my integrity. Quite a progression, rather, descent, don’t you agree? The putting off, was the first is a series of “sins”, or revelations of character defects the “old me” performed without remorse.

Procrastination is self-will run riot. It is self-centeredness at its best. I don’t want to so I won’t. And for recovering addicts and alcoholics, lying is a way of life we keep in our “denial” portfolio. We lie for no apparent reason. Lying always has a ripple effect, sending out waves of related sins in its wake. One of the issues that you have to deal with when working with new comers in recovery, is honesty. If that is grasped, recovery comes to them much smoother. The pain I experienced from the lie I told hurt terribly. Me, the go to guy, a liar.

Did I repent? You bet, and that episode is one I never want to repeat. I know I am human, I can fall so I try not to think highly of myself. My damaged integrity is good today, though scarred. I want to continue my recovery from self-serving, self-seeking, and try to live an exemplar life as I follow Christ and lead others. I also desire that my children, and theirs, be people of their word, so I must determine to lead by example.

Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.

12 thoughts on “Rigorous Honesty, I Lied

  1. Hey Keith….

    I am familiar with the feelings of that agonizing compromise when we find ourself cornered by our own actions or inactions that were contrary to our stated commitment, then we find ourselves lying to get out of the corner we are in.

    The feelings are sick and leave an ulcerative churning in our gut… or at least it does for me.

    Being untruthful and knowing I couldn’t be trusted had to be one of the most awful feelings of my entire life. So I am with you on that.

    Yet, the flip side is one of the most naturally euphoric. The day people began to trust me again, and actually put their trust in my by giving me responsibilities that I handled with reliability and integrity.

    Reliability is in short supply in our world. In fact, after crashing and burning a career, and starting over again at 41, I found one of few things I could bring to the table to a new employer was trustworthiness and reliability. Which paved the way to many wonderful things … I am so glad to say.

    We all break trust at one point or another. It is part of the human condition. Gladly, many areas of trust can be rebuilt.

    Great post.



    • Thanks Chaz, You’re right on, the flip side of no integrity, with others having confidence in you again is a gift I certainly thought would never be. The step study I teach at Celebrate Recovery, and going to AA meetings have shown me the importance of honesty without fear of shadows cast my way. Admitting wrongs may be hard and embarrassing, after some sobriety time, but for those reading, they also need to see the importance of admission. It is liberating to know as I recover, tell the story, and be an open book so others do the same. Your story is mine, starting over after throwing everything away in self-service. I agree, we have much to offer with our honesty and personal integrity. God bless your every effort for good. Keith

    • I am blessed above what I deserve my dear friend. I pray you are well, God goes before you, surrounds you with his favor, and overshadowed by His lovingkindness and mercy! Keep posting and serving! Keith

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