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┬áreproach 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.

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I Don’t Feel Like It

I know you won’t believe this but I have actually done some pretty dumb things in my life. I think I’ve learned some expensive lessons from those ignorant actions, and have no desire to repeat any of these. Yet, somehow, with all of my determination to avoid mishaps, they still occur. I know, as God knows, I am just clay. I need help, on a regular basis, to improve my performance in life, and to be a man of personal integrity. I think that I have stumbled onto the secret of getting there, though I may never arrive. Here it is: do what you don’t feel like doing. Maybe I should say that louder: DO WHAT YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE DOING! There are so many things I don’t want to do that don’t matter. But too often, I don’t want to do what is important, things that really matter.

I don’t want to attend recovery meetings at times. When I go, I feel energized. I always say to others in recovery, the best meetings there ever were, I didn’t go to. And the best meetings I ever went to, I didn’t want to go to. I believe this to be fact. When you and I shake off the thoughts that come and keep us inside ourselves, when we determine to make our feet walk to the aid of others, God is acting on our behalf. Why? Because we’re acting on His behalf to help those in need. Consequently, we intend to give, and our intent boomerangs on us, and we receive. I get more from helping, than I ever got from self-seeking, and living for what pleased me.

My thoughts of being too tired, of not wanting to be out too late because I have to work, or thinking this would be a good night to stay in and watch “Idol,” are thoughts that take me away from getting me out of me, and blind me to what matters in life. My wants, my plans, my desires, my, my, my…removes me from the stream of blessings God has for my life. Not feeling like it leaves me feeling separated from my purpose. Do you feel that way too? There is that possibility you have not, or maybe haven’t for a while. If you haven’t, try to find a place of usefulness in God. Better yet, ask Him to guide you to a place you can serve. Maybe your church, maybe a group, or even a 12 step program you need to be in. Please don’t say…I don’t feel like it.

I have had the same feelings regarding work. Today actually. Although I tell God and everyone else how grateful I am to have a job in these times, or anytime, my heart isn’t in it lately. My attitude stinks, my mind tells me, “you can’t keep this pace up, you’re getting too old!” I don’t feel like it. So I can go about my work day griping and complaining about the jobs, the management, fellow workers, and lunch. That is where my performance needs enhanced. I need to remember the many great blessings in life. I have sobriety, family, a home, a vehicle, clothing, food, and on and on. This is the clarifying moment of God’s bounty, the privilege of living in His grace. I can feel like it, when I don’t feel like it. I don’t have to work…I get to work.

How do people become successful? Successful people do what unsuccessful people are unwilling to do. If you want money in the bank, don’t blow you money on expensive restaurants, clothing, and unnecessities. If you want to learn about world leaders, you have to enrol in a class, you have to study. If you don’t feel like it, that’s the time to do it, the best time. Nothing in life is easy, much of life is tough, but all of life is a blessing if your eyes are on God. If you and I insist on waiting until we feel like it to do anything, very little, if anything will ever get done. Feelings are a spiritual thermometer, telling us of our need to return to doing the things we need to do to stay spiritually fit. When you get to the point that feelings cannot stop you from doing what needs to get done, you’re moving toward spiritual health and service to God.

Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all. Keith