Have you ever had a really good story to tell people and when you finished relaying all the interesting and amazing info to them, one of them looks at you and says, “That’s nothing, one time I blah, blah, blah…”? Doesn’t that make you just want to crawl away and hide, after, of course, slapping them silly and then slapping them for being that way?
I’ve been that annoying jerk that has always felt the need to steal the other guy’s thunder. Sometimes I still am. I’m trying hard not to. I’m trying to be the guy that can sit and just be amazed and appreciate a good story. To be a consistent thunder thief it is pretty much necessary to be willing to stretch and distort the truth just a bit. This is known to most people as lying but to me and other like me, we like to call it good story-telling.
Playing the game of one-upmanship is addicting. But the truth is that it is just an exercise in lying and the last liar is the winner. Even if for some strange reason, the lie is true from time to time, the willingness to lie is always creeping around in the game waiting to give the teller of the tale the advantage in some weird and unbelievable way.
Why do I desire to play in such a game when someone else playing the game makes me want to puke? I should just let someone tell their experience and keep mine to myself. If I want to compete somehow, I can always suggest a game of 8-Ball.
The desire to force my position above that of others is most certainly not a Godly one. I am not allowing my holiness to give me my place. I am sinning to gain credibility and notoriety. It is sad that I have actually lied to lend myself credibility. If the lie is found out, credibility is lost, both the undeserved and deserved.
1 Corinthians 1:29 “As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God. 30 God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. 31 Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.”
My lies are boasting. I am lifting myself up with my untrue words. I may have told a lie so many times that I believe it to be true but it is not. No one can boast in the presence of God. Where does God go when I boast and tell lies of my great experiences and knowledge? He doesn’t move an inch but I begin traveling on a journey away from where he is with every word I speak.
There’s no prize for the biggest teller of tales. There is no reward for making the other guy feel small. There is no treasure in a false reputation. There is no special place in heaven for the last liar standing. There is only distance placed between me and where God wants me to be.
We are built to tell of great and wonderful things. We are made with mouths that can express and amaze through words. I have to remember that lies and exaggeration are foolishness and that if I must speak of the unbelievable and awesome, let me speak of God and the way he has saved my life. I was broken over and over again, I was a pile of crumbs and dust and ashes and God raised me up and breathed new life into me and I stand up each morning simply by his grace.
That doesn’t even touch the tip of the iceberg of what he has done. I can rave like a lunatic from midnight to midnight and not speak of a fraction of what he has done for me personally.
And when I get tired of talking about the greatness of what God has done for me, I can start praising him for what he has done for my wife and kids and the rest of my family and friends! I can tell my true story.
I can listen to the story of others and what God has done for them and be carried away on each word, not just because it seems unbelievable but because it is undeniably true!
A lot of times, I think that those folks that just can’t seem to tell the truth are just too hurt and beaten by their past and the real experiences of their life are hidden deep beneath the false world that they speak of so much. They haven’t experienced the miracle that occurs when God takes the power away from their past. I know there was a time in my life that my past beat the thunder out of me every single day. I felt like I deserved it. I actually thought God was doing that to me when I was the one flogging myself with the guilt of a life done wrong.
Learn to speak the truth. Find just one person that you can tell anything to. Grow that one person into a small group of people. Let the truth slowly take over your life and discover what God can do when his presence invades your words. It works for a lot of people. It worked for me.