"Insincere talk that hides what you are really thinking is like a fine glaze on a cheap clay pot... Insincere talk brings nothing but ruin." (Proverbs 23 & 28)
"Shh...! You can't see me. I'm hiding behind this blade of grass!"
Someone needs to tell this poor fellow that he's not quite as hidden as he thinks. I really do believe he thought he was hidden because he sat there the entire time, clinging to that blade of grass and allowing me to take several pictures before walking away. Good thing I wasn't a predator, or he'd have been dead meat.
His "hiding" reminded me of the times I experience folks "hiding" their true thoughts and feelings in relationships. Instead of honest dialogue they save their real thoughts and harbor them with ill feelings or share them away from the person or persons who really need to hear them. In church life sometimes we call one version of this the "parking lot meeting after the meeting." In that particular scenario folks say one thing (or nothing) in the church meeting, then hash over their true thoughts and feelings in the parking lot out of earshot of those who needed to hear. The result is always the same - ill feelings fester and nothing can be accomplished because there can be no real dialogue between the parties who need it while one or both are hiding their true thoughts.
I've watched a similar version of this scenario unfold in personal relationships and marriages. For various reasons individuals decide not to share their true feelings with one another then wonder later why they grow apart and relationships fall into ruin. What do we fear so much about the other that we would risk the ruin of the relationship by not sharing our heart's whispers with them? What could be worse than the ruin of the relationship? Doesn't that kind of thinking seem almost as silly as my damsel fly friend thinking he can hide behind a single blade of grass. If we want the relationship, we'd better stop hiding.
This kind of hiding in relationships hurts, pure and simple. That's exactly the wisdom the writer of Proverbs was trying to convey when he said, "Insincere talk brings nothing but ruin." Even our relationship with God is hurt when we hide behind "insincere talk." In that relationship it's not God from whom we hide our true thoughts, feelings, and intentions with "insincere talk," but rather, our own selves. Insincere talk with God robs us of the opportunity for true repentance, grace, healing, and transformation. Hiding hurts and frequently leads to ruin. Sincere and honest dialogue might hurt at first, but often leads to healing.
I pray that God will give me the courage in all my relationships not to hide behind "insincere talk." How about you?
Blessings and Peace,
Pastor, Sand Hill United Methodist Church
Boaz, West Virginia
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