Category Archives: Dishonesty

The Repairman or the Homeowner?

I was talking with the HV/AC repairman while he was fixing our broken air conditioning system some years ago.  I was explaining that we had just moved, so our home looked a bit turned upside-down. He laughed and said that he had seen everything. He described how he went to an appointment at a million-dollar home  when he was new on the job. The landscaping was gorgeous and the building itself was awe-inspiring. The repairman rang the doorbell. When the homeowner let him inside, the repairman noticed that although there were gorgeous draperies across the front windows, the back windows had nothing covering them. Also, the only furniture he could see was a folding table, a folding chair and a mattress on the floor. The repairman said to the homeowner, “Wow, it looks like you are in the middle of moving.” The nicely dressed homeowner looked at him and said, “No, I have lived here for 5 years.” Oh my!

How deceived we are by outside appearances. From the repairman’s view, this home was a very expensive, well-appointed mansion. Once he was allowed inside, his view was abruptly changed. He was even willing to suspend belief and suggest that this person surely was just moving and that’s why there was such a big disconnect between the size of the home and the furnishings. When the repairman finally realized the ugly truth, there was no turning back. He said that he finished the appointment as quickly and quietly as possible and got out of there. The repairman felt so horrible for this homeowner who was appearing to be something that he was not.

I have been that repairman before. I have been totally sucked into believing an appearance to be reality. I have judged by the outside, and when allowed to see the “inside,” I have even chosen to suspend my belief thinking that surely this person would not be like that. I would call this concept a form of denial. When faced with the ugly truth, I was unwilling to see it for what it was, and this was compounded by the problem of my own naiveté.

Humbly, I must admit that I have also been that homeowner. I have been so comfortable with my own denial and keeping up appearances, that I have boldly stated the ugly truth, but not thought it was ugly because I believed my own lie! My conscience was so deadened that I truly did not see the ugly truth. I instead saw a “pretty lie.”

Both of these situations have taught me that we are easily duped. Many people who we perceive have possessions or wealth or any other outwardly appearance of success are really hollow inside. In fact, if we are invited “in,” we might be shocked by the hidden reality of their lives. Alcoholism, narcissism, addiction, depression, abuse and other bondage may lurk behind that perfect image. We need to stop comparing our insides with their outsides. Whichever person you can relate to–either the repairman or the homeowner–there is only one answer for how to overcome the lie/denial pattern. Make a decision to know and follow the Way, the Truth and the Light–also known as Jesus Christ!




Winning at all cost?

My son played in an out-of-town soccer tournament this weekend. His team won their division. But as they made their way through the tournament, they encountered a team coached by a person who truly believes in winning at all cost.

This team had very talented players from a variety of countries. They had speed, they had footskills, and they had experience on the field. Many of their players literally towered over my son and his teammates. We knew it was going to be a very close match. After a very physical game, the outcome was a 1-0 loss for our team. But it was still early in the tournament, so the boys could still make it to the finals.

After that game, this coach of the other team told the head referee that we (parents) were making “racist” comments to his team members from the sidelines. Okay. I have played soccer all my life and I have not met a more mellow, unconfrontational group of soccer parents as our team has. If cheering occurs at all, it is encouraging and addressed to our own team. When this coach made this claim, the sideline referee who was in front of us parents for the entire game said, “I didn’t hear anything like that, but I did hear your players cussing at me.”

Fast forward to the final game for first place. Yep, you guessed it. Same team. We are taking our seats when a parent from the other team walks over and says that she has heard that our team is racist and she knows exactly the comments we have made. She tells us that we should teach our children how bad racism is. We looked like a row of guppies. Our mouths were just dropped open because the claim was just so ridiculous. None of us had even remotely said anything like that! This team was pulling the race card and it was a “he said, she said” type of situation. How could we “prove” we hadn’t said anything of the sort? They knew this and their coach knew this, so they kept the lie alive.

Simultaneously, another couple of teams of this coach’s arrive and start saying all sorts of outlandish things to us and about us. We were literally surrounded by a crowd of negativity. In the first game, my husband had heard their players yelling at each other very nastily in the back field, accusing each other of whose fault it was that our team had scored. I heard a parent from the other team say that he was only there watching our game because the coach had said it was mandatory that his son’s team be there. His son was not playing in that game, but they were not allowed to leave. I could not believe what lengths this coach was willing to go to win this game. It was an unbelievable experience in many ways.

In the end, our boys won the game in overtime. They played clean, but aggressive soccer. They passed around the other team even if our team got punched in the stomach on the sly. Our team kept their heads in the game.

However, this mom (me) who tries to live a virtuous life, got taken down. After two hours of teenagers saying rude and disrespectful taunts to myself, the other parents and the players, I lost it. I let their toxic attitude and nasty comments get under my skin. I am embarrassed to admit that I just couldn’t help myself. When we scored the winning goal, I stood up and cheered for our team really, really loudly.  I guess I am human after all.