Walk into just about any church and you will find people that lie to you! Your friends, your foes, and those you don’t even know will lie to you. I don’t think they mean to lie. In fact, I am not sure they would admit that lying is what they were doing. Some would say they are putting on a good front. Others might say that they are just being optimistic.
Most of this is centered in our greetings. The truth is that people lie outside of the church just as often. We ask people when we see them in class or in worship, “How are you today?” Two things are at play: it is a mindless form of greeting, and no one really wants the answer. The reason for the 2nd is because if your moment is not good trending toward bad, then it becomes awkward as you dump your troubles. Watch someone’s face as you begin to discuss, at length,
- the diaper issues of your youngest because of the stomach flu going around and how it got in your eye…
- how you hugged the toilet throughout the day yesterday…
- how you can’t pay the bills…
- your latest fight with your spouse…
- how cranky you are because your favorite manicurist couldn’t fit you in…
I digress. Here are a few pointers on greeting others so we will stop lying.
Greetings you SHOULD use
- I am so glad you are here.
- It is good to see you today.
Questions that lead to LIES
- How are you?
- How has your week been?
- Haven’t seen you lately, where have you been? (Also adds guilt and shame)
- How was Sunday School today?
- Wasn’t worship wonderful?
- I am so blessed, aren’t you?
If we would stop asking the wrong questions, people might stop lying at church. Answers like “Fine”, “Blessed”, “Wonderful” may be true, but often they are not. Our lives tend to focus on the fights, money issues, sickness, and tragedy. We, who have the hope of Jesus and help of the Spirit, must find a balance. We have hope. We have problems today. Somewhere in the middle is the integrity we need.
Let’s be honest.