Let me paint a picture.
Two people. Bob and Steve. They are both at a volleyball game. Steve is a player in the game while Bob is rooting for the other team.
Bob starts yelling just as Steve’s team serves. Several times it seems like Bob’s yells cause Steve’s team’s serve to be bad.
Finally Steve steps up to serve and Bob yells again and Steve’s serve is woefully low and fails to go over the net.
Steve glares a Bob for a short second, Bob realizes that he was wrong to do that and apologizes to Steve, stating that he did not intend for that to happen.
It seems like a great tale of Christians striving with one another even though they are imperfect. Bob was clearly wrong, and when he was convicted of wrongdoing (primarily through Steve’s glare) he immediately repented and apologized to Steve.
However all is not as it seems. You see, Bob had discussed with some of his friends how he was capable of disrupting serves. They had laughed about it together. It was clear that Bob was intentionally disrupting Steve’s teams serves…including Steve’s serve.
I am Bob. I did this. I was convicted of my deception and I will apologize to Steve if I see him again.
However, God convicted me that this is a trend in my life…and not only my life, but a common trend overall. We are confronted by guilt over sin, either intentional or unintentional. To sate our consciences as well as to puff up our ego as “good” Christian people, we decide to apologize to the one(s) affected by our sin.
However as a way to not feel as bad about ourselves we twist the circumstances a bit through deception. Instead of intentionally doing something, we instead deceive the other person and tell them that it was incidental. Instead of stating our actions and motives plainly, we coat them in sugary words designed to put us on a pedestal regardless of the issue for which we are apologizing.
Basically we try to get the best of both worlds. We try to do the holy act of apologizing for our wrongdoing as we know we ought, while actually apologizing for something barely bad and in our minds not really sinful. This is incredibly insidious and devastatingly dangerous. And it is a subset of small lies.
Lies that are so small that we hardly consider them. We lie in small ways to make our actions sound drastically better. It was a small change for me to lie to him and apologize for the outcome of my actions rather than my intent…but it made me sound much better. Instead of being a poor sportsman…I was simply slightly ignorant as to the outcome of my actions.
This is me allowing my pride to dictate my morals as I allowed myself to lie to seem better than I was.
In my life this habit has become so ingrained into me as to be second nature. It is generally after I say such things that I catch myself and correct myself. As such, I highly recommend that y’all also examine yourselves closely to check your motivations, while also being dependent on God for Him to examine you as well.
Rely on Him to excise the sin from your life. Be dependent on Him to bring these seemingly minor sins that make major differences to your mind as you pray.