Ivy was driving. Ernie and I were riding. We were carpooling and heading to our work-day job. That’s when Ernie said:
“I need to be more honest with God.”
Ivy jumped in first and asked, “How can someone be dishonest with God? It’s impossible isn’t it?”
Ernie, in the passenger’s seat, turned and spoke to the right side of her head as she focused on the morning traffic. “Of course, but I don’t always remember that …”
“OK,” Ivy replied, she gunned through a yellow light.
“What I’m trying to say,” Ernie pressed, “is that I need to stop thinking I can hide from God. I need to quit thinking I can manipulating God by saying what I think God wants to hear.”
“Yeah, me too!” I piped in from the back seat. Ivy slowed for a red light. Ernie kept talking.
“My self-deception doesn’t fool God. God is on to my act. I cannot be dishonest with God. I’m just fooling myself … “
“True,” Ivy mumbled. She maneuvered the car to the middle lane.
“Yes,” I agreed.
“… and I have to admit I’m a miserable liar and I’d like to give up being a miserable liar.”
“So how do you do that?” I ventured. Ivy gradually sped up with the flow of traffic as a traffic light ahead switched to green.
Ernie said, “I’ve realized that I’m not only a dishonest phony with God. I’m often a phony at church. I’m a phony at work. I’m a phony with my wife. I’m a phony with my kids. I’m a phony with my friends. I’m a phony with …”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa!” exclaimed Ivy, “where is this burst of vulnerable honesty coming from?”
“I don’t know,” Ernie confessed. “It must be God’s work.”
“Hmm.” I interjected from my seat.
Ernie didn’t hesitate, he kept speaking. “It’s hard to be honest. It seems almost impossible for me. I tell my wife I’m going to ACE hardware when really I’m going to Best Buy to fantasize about something I can’t afford.”
Ivy pressed lightly on the brake pedal while saying, “Wow, you really do have it bad.”
“I pretend to be pure, but like Paul I’m the chief of sinners.” How’s that for honesty?” Ernie asked.
“You’re being too hard on yourself,” I chimed in.
Ernie chimed back, “Fine. So why am I afraid to be honest?”
“Yeah, why?” Ivy and I asked simultaneously.
“Because I’m afraid you won’t like me … I’m afraid God won’t like me.” Ernie looked sad.
“Yeah, I get it,” Ivy sympathized as she turned into the parking garage.
Ernie confessed, “I know what’s right. I know what’s wrong. I gotta risk being honest. I’m gonna tell God the truth. Maybe that’ll lead to being honest with everyone else.
“Wow! I whispered.
“I’m sick and tired of being dishonest … it’s costing me too much freedom. Maybe I’ll grow up. Have you ever felt like that?”
We got out of the car. Ivy pushed the button on her key chain, “Beep! Beep! We walked silently into work considering the value of honesty.
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