Shall We Pray: For Convictions Compromised For A Perceived Greater Good
Shall we pray?
Many times we find our convictions clashing with intellectual smartness. What we call smartness often times is a call to compromise, a value shift for a perceived greater good. We lie. We lie about our plans to avoid nosey fangs of pretentious admirers. We lie through patched places, lonely spaces, for survival and we are often quick to point to Abraham and Sarah. We lie about our faith to avoid public lynching and find affirmations in Peter’s denial of Jesus. After all, he lived through it to become a leading apostle. The denial ultimately served a greater good. We lie, Lord. And many times, with valid reasons.
And even though we don’t love to, yet it seems expedient here. In business, it serves an economic good. In politics, it serves a diplomatic need. In personal relationships, it has saved many from unnecessary heartaches. All shades. White lies. Blue lies. Green lies. We have equally qualified some with a bit of spirituality. Godly lies. While we might carry the ache and guilt because of our sensitive conscience, we still haven’t stopped. We often find ourselves even in an evasive, showy fix, for when we see someone standing up for utter truth, we join the crowd to label such a fool but privately salutes the shown courage.
We are bloody liars, Lord. What about the lies we tell ourselves personally? Many times, we have to convincingly lie to ourselves to be able to lie to others, and silently, we pray for salvation from ourselves. We are scared of what we are becoming. We are the same people who condemn dishonesty and corruption in the public space, but we have consistently collapsed our own walls of self-government. Maybe there is a quiet expression of doubt here. That we have to lie to live because we don’t trust you to show up when truth could be costly. Maybe it is about our own inferiority complex. Maybe because we love the world more, or we are scared of death or maybe nothing at all.
We just want to be better, Lord. We don’t want to become a people who rationalizes or relativizes the truth or cuddle philosophy to assuage our sense of guilt. Let it not be that we love our lives so much that we lie to keep it. And when we have to walk through the crowd to avoid being thrown off the cliff, let that wisdom and sense not be founded on lies but leading. We do not want to stand here and say we would never lie again, for we would have lied again. But we ask that when we are tempted to, be the shining light, the truth, that we see and live.
In Jesus name.
This is the first of a “shall we pray” series running on the blog. Seun Abimbola writes out these introspective prayers almost daily and I’m really excited he’s willing to share them with us. There’s no doubt this is a buffet for the soul. Please ingest it. Share with your folks. And don’t forget to share your thoughts on the comment box.