I suspect that most of us don’t like it when people lie to us. People sometimes lie because they want us to believe that they’re something that they’re simply not. Other people lie because they are ashamed to tell the truth. Some people lie to other people because they want to cheat them out of something like money. Still others lie because they simply live their lives telling lies.
Most people don’t realize that “little lies” change people’s lives. Sometimes, when people tell us a lie, we believe it – and we come to look-at ourselves and other people in a different way. At other times, when we find ourselves caught in a lie, we discover that people see us differently and, perhaps, don’t trust us anymore. Sometimes we lie to ourselves, and our own self-created lies can shape what we believe about life and other people. This can, also, happen to us when others hurt us.
I have to admit that I’m a person who, generally, tries to find something good in people. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt and I try to look past their flaws. I’ve always believed that most people try to do the best they can do in life. Most of us don’t want to hurt others. Most of us want to believe that the world is a better place because we live in it. We really do try our best in life, don’t we? But we still “step in the muck” once in a while. And one of the reasons we do that is because, when it all boils down, God still makes people out of dirt – just like He did in the story of creation.
I’ve discovered, many times, that I’m made of dirt. Even though I try to stay calm and collected, I sometimes lose my temper and say things I shouldn’t say. I see some things that I would do differently if I had a chance to raise my sons again. Sometimes, even as a pastor, I don’t live up to the expectations that others place upon my life and that sometimes happens simply because I’m made of dirt. I’ve hurt people. I’ve said things that I shouldn’t have said. I’m sometimes far more anxious to give people my advice than I am to listen to them when they need an ear. I’m human. I have flaws and imperfections. I’m clearly made of dirt – and I see that.
What I’ve, also, come to see is that other people are made of dirt, too. I’ve been hurt by people who said things that they should have never said. I can remember things that my parents did to me (when I was a little boy) that I would never do to my sons. Think about some of the things people have done to you. Have you ever been hurt by someone who didn’t intend to hurt you? Are you holding onto some words that were spoken – perhaps in a moment of anger – many years ago? A long memory can be a blessing. But a long memory can, also, be a curse. There are things in life that we need to forget. There are other things that we need to forgive.
So, let’s take a moment to think about some of the hurts in our lives – while keeping the “dirty truth” in mind. People sometimes hurt us, unintentionally, because they’re made of dirt. We’re sometimes hurt by other people because, deep inside, we expect them to be more “perfect” than they can ever be. The “dirty truth” is an important part of the healing process when others hurt us. We need to be able to clearly separate long-standing patterns of hurt and abuse from all of the little ways that “imperfect” people show us that they’re made of dirt.
Is some of the hurt in your life caused by the fact that you expect people to be “more” than they can be? Do you sometimes expect other people to be more “perfect” than you are? Can realizing that other people are “made of dirt” help you to see some of the things that people have done to you in a different way? Can the “dirty truth” open doors in your life (and in your heart) that really need to be opened before you can experience the kinds of healing that you desire?