When we justify ourselves and create elaborate defenses, we may be reading the Devil’s cue cards. Jesus said we simply should communicate clearly and decisively. After yes or no, things get murky and we start to become spin-doctors.

Stop defending your character all the time. If you have to preface and provide supportive evidence for matters requiring a simple yes or no, think about what is going on inside you. Why is so hard to say yes or no?

Jesus provides a great example when he remained silent during his trial before Pilate. When asked if he is the King of the Jews, he answers yes. When asked to respond to the accusations brought against him, he remained silent. No long-winded speech would have helped. Jesus had the wisdom to know that words would not change what was happening.

Peter on the other hand, is asked at fireside if he knows Jesus. Three times he denies that he does. He even swears that he does not know him. Peter could have told the truth and said yes. Instead, he lies and swears to lock in the falsehood. Ever been like Peter?

The Devil loves it when we make rash vows and make elaborate defenses. Once you’ve become entrenched in a lie, your words might multiply. We can find ourselves practicing deception to save face. In the process, our hearts are darkened and shame intensifies.

Jesus calls us to the place of fearful honesty. One word of truth can open a door that no one can shut. The Publican in the Temple had it right. “Lord, have mercy on me a sinner.”

God, help us to be truth-tellers.


Fr. Sean Lotz said…
Thanks for the insight. The whole post was good, but the first sentence alone really jabbed me right in the gut. I guess I needed to hear it. I get so defensive, spend so much time justifying myself.
Kevin Rogers said…
Hey, I've been there many times myself. When I'm defensive I cannot read others clearly or get a healthy perspective on the issue at hand.