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Deceptively Honest

I recently read somewhere how in ancient Greek plays, one man would play multiple roles. Onstage, he wore one mask, then went backstage to put on a new mask for playing another role. This person was called the 'hupokrites,' that's where we get the word 'hypocrite.'

Hypocrisy is the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one's own behaviour does not conform; pretense. Layman's terms, we be lying, aka we say one thing and do the next—aka (for my saints), we don't practice what we preach.

Though this has nothing to do with the pandemic, masks should not be worn to display oneself to some and not others. It shows a lack of authenticity. I believe God wants us to be exactly who He made us to be, no matter who is watching.

While we may be true to our character, do we ever show our true nature? Or are we stuck in character mode being deceptively honest? One time ago, people would say, 'if you wanna know me, come live with me!' Ha! And marriages have been downhill ever since.

Could it be, though, that it's exhausting to pretend? I mean, eventually, the play ends, but the camera of life is constantly rolling.

In all its forms, deception forces people to accept untrue information, whether big or small. Deception is the act of stating something known to be untrue with the intention of deceiving.

I remember I tried a new weave this one time, and everyone told me how nice I looked except the person I wanted to hear it from most. When I asked him why he hadn't said anything, he said, "Because I think it looks stink!" (insert eyes wide open as my soul separates from my body). Like sir, couldn't you finesse it 'lil bit?

Well, way to implement the 'if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all' clause. Bravo! One thing was for sure; homeslice wasn't being hypocritical. If I can lay anything to his credit, it had to be that he was the 'truth,' even if I didn't want to or wasn't prepared to hear it.

Most people are generally honest; however, even those who believe in honesty sometimes deceive. Research shows that most people lie several times per day. Occasionally, these lies are big, like, "I've never cheated on you!" But more often, these untruths are little white lies, "Girl, that lipstick is your colour." We embellish our words, meaning to spare someone's feelings or avoid uncomfortable situations.

In my twenties, I had a friend who was about to get married. We'd often end up in great debates with other mutual friends. One time, the conversation was about finances in relationships. Sister-girl was very vocal about how she would not have a joint bank account with her betrothed. And, to add insult to injury, she would be sure to have a stash of funds he knew nothing about. You know the just in case money. In my mind, all I saw was a recipe for disaster.

Back then, I didn't even revere marriage or have the respect I do for it now, but I was confused about how this thinking was even possible. You know ya girl had to ask some pertinent questions. "So you'll sleep next to someone who could kill you in the middle of the night, but you can't combine resources? You can let this person access your food, drink and medication but what you've saved is a secret?"

"You'll share orifices and swap germ-ridden bodily fluids, but you won't share your money? You'd allow your DNA to combine with his and bring life, but you can't put your money in the same account?" Sis, make it make sense. 'Cause there she was about to stand before God and man pledging her life 'til death, but her money is off-limits? Ma'am, sir, anyone, connect these dots, please. Google maps me off of the junction of you can't be serious lane and you doing pure dumbness alley.

Now that I think about it, these days, I don't know which is more heavily guarded, the bank account or the cell phone. Saints marriage looking real weird, and ion like it. While I'm on this rant, lemme rest this right here and say it louder for the people in the front, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:21). But I'm single with zero marital experience, so that ain't my business.

The more I thought about deceit, quite a few characters from the Bible came to mind. And while there are some folks in there, we idealize—the ones we want to think were decent. We put wings on them as if they're angels straight from the third heaven. But we know, hardly anyone in the good book was perfect!

Rachel used to be that person for me. When I think about women who got the messy end of the stick, sis comes to mind. Be that as it may, Rachel was not void of crookery. (See Genesis 31) I always thought she was some wronged pretty girl whose sister got first dibs on the community pie, aka Jacob. Now don't sleep, Jacob did some dirt too, but that's another story for another day.

And because God is all-knowing, sometimes He allows circumstances to happen to us, for us.

So if you're not familiar with Rachel's conniving ways, lemme hit you with the 411. Pay attention, 'cause I gatta make it brief. Sis's dad (Laban) served other gods; no shock there since he did Jacob that dirty trick. Like who switches someone's whole wife on the wedding night at that? Anyhow, her father's household god went missing. When Laban accused Jacob of stealing them (insert dramatic movie music), Jacob was so confident it wasn't there, that he said, "Bro, if you find it, whoever took it, off with their head!" I imagine this scene playing out like the Sopranos meets Breaking Bad.

Now you'll know, Jacob woulda all but died if he learned that that person was sweet-girl. Poor Jacob had no clue that his beloved, who he worked fourteen years for and still, she couldn't give him one 'lil bambino—I'm talking the love of his life had done the unthinkable. Talk about if 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend' was a person. Whew, chall honesty was not Rachel's whole policy.

So here comes Paps, searching everyone's tent for the stolen thing. After the first few came up empty, he made a b-line into Rachel's tent. But craftiness would have it that he doesn't find it there either. Sir was going APE, like the FBI looking for drugs in coloured folks' house. But this heffa pretended like Little Miss Muffet sitting on a Tuffet—claiming she couldn't get up due to personal reasons, aka—that time of the month.

Back then, in Eastern cultures, they viewed menstrual blood as unclean, and it was forbidden for men to touch menstruating women. So you know, that's all ya' boy had to hear. He was outta that tent faster than a dude hearing that his one-night stand is pregnant. Meanwhile, sis there sitting on the idol, like a chicken incubating an egg. #trapsy

Now according to the story, it is unclear whether what Rachel claimed was actually true. #allegedly The point is that she used her wit to escape being found and possibly being The First Boleyn Girl. Ma'am...this was a lot!

Whatever her intentions were, Rachel's use of deception could have had grave repercussions. Whether or not her reasoning was valid or she had some grand master plan, bottom line, she was sketchy. I mean, the least she could do was let her husband in on the gag. Imagine how devastated Jacob would have been if Laban found that god. That's the thing about deception; however good your intentions are, it defiles the circle of trust.

Many of us present lies as truth to get out of sticky situations. No? Okay, so you never called your boss and said you were having car trouble when the truth is you left late and got caught in traffic? I'm sure it takes all of your self-control not to tell your significant other that 'yes,' they do look fat in those jeans. Everything in you wants to say, "No, ma'am, take them off 'cause you look like an Oompa Loompa!" Or, "No, sir, you ain't the best I ever had!"

We tell kids the ice cream shop doesn't open on Sundays instead of saying 'No' and having to explain why you don't have any money. We sell kids the dream that Santa Clause, the Easter bunny, and the tooth fairy are real to preserve their innocence. Some chicks pretend to be talking to a girlfriend when bae walks in the room while they overtly flirt with their work husband. At the same time, dudes are saving chicks' names as my boy Jerry! #aviciouscycle

People lie for various reasons: to get what they want, protect or promote themselves, harm others, and avoid punishment or embarrassment. Unfortunately, most times, this robs people of the opportunities to experience and process reality. Intimacy is hindered in relationships when lies are told. Lies are harmful because they undermine trust. Once trust is destroyed, only the heavenly army, including the cherubims and seraphims, can restore it.

I mean, let's level, "Sorry, I'm just seeing this message!" ain't always the truth. Sometimes you watch the phone ring because the reality is you don't feel like talking. But everyone can't seem to process that truth. We claim honesty in these situations by omitting a few details because we don't want to hurt someone's feelings. No, call it what it is, ya lying! #guilty

I remember a guy telling me he didn't want to go somewhere with me because he didn't want to. I was confused. Seriously dude like what does that even mean? 'Cause, surely there MUST be a reason. Let me help you, "I don't want to!" is the WHOLE reason, and it's a valid one too! Yeah, I know it's not customary for that to be it. But do you (personally) really need a reason not to want to do something?

I think we finally realize that when people say, "I have to check with my spouse or let me get back to you!" is code for I don't feel like it, or I'm simply not coming. Isn't it interesting how desensitized we have become to teetering on the edge of deceptive honesty? Because while you didn't confirm, you full well know your intent is to find another reason why you never made it. Go 'head and blame it on the children. That's always an ironclad excuse. Who or what has made us feel so guilty for living and fully owning our truth that we choose sin over honesty?

Are we masking or avoiding? Okay, pretending then—that sounds better. We've done it so much that we no longer know what's real. Why do you think it's okay to say you are five minutes away and you haven't left home yet? Own your repetitive lateness. #itiswhatitis If you don't like the narratives of what is, change it. Lying about it and giving false positives is doing no one any justice.

There is no such thing as being deceptively honest (always the truth but sometimes). This oxymoron can be that thin line between you making it in (heaven) or nah. It's the same as being lukewarm, and we know how God feels about that. If you have to omit words due to your actions, then maybe you shouldn't do what you are about to do. I know, sometimes we tend to forget that being deceptively honest is what caused the whole debacle back in the garden.

You won't die!" the serpent replied to the woman. "God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil." (Genesis 3:4 NLT)

Now, technically slithery didn't lie. But he was good and slick—twisting the truth to fit his narrative. So much so that he fudged up everything for all of humanity. If 'misery loves company' was a person. All I'm asking is, do you honestly want to continue the cycle?

Look, you ain't Zorro, and you ain't a character in an ancient Greek play. You don't want to go through life being a phony, so unmask yourself and let the truth make you free, aye!

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