Acting on the lies


Francis Berger reminds us that seeing through the lies is not the entire journey.

Perceiving lies and falsehoods in the external world is the state of almost right. Being fully right involves using that perception to discover personal spiritual truths, which inevitably involves thinking, decision-making, and, perhaps, action.

Contrary to what my detractors accuse me of, I am not on the side of Russia. Putin is not my hero. God is my hero. I put no hopes in the efforts of men to save us from ourselves. That work is up to each and every one of us within the context of our individual lives.

Recent events are helping to peel back the curtain on the world of lies. But is it enough to sit on the sidelines and gloat for our enemies to fail? Or to hope that the cards fall in an order which will be advantageous to us? I would offer that such indulgences are very much of this world.

The question is what will our awareness of the truth propel us to do? It is possible that being aware of the falsehoods but not acting upon them is very much worse than not seeing through the lies to begin with. It is very easy at moments like these to fall into the gigantic trap of pride. To congratulate oneself on one’s very brilliance at not falling for the simple misdirections that have ensnared so many other lesser men.

Acting does not mean going out and screaming from the rooftops. Or marching down the street in grim determination to face head on the enemy. Positive action begins with oneself, in private, without seeking the acclaim of one’s fellow man. We have just entered the period of Lent, which in the Christian tradition is a time of abstinence and hardship. Of fasting and prayer. It is an opportunity to act in a manner that is pleasing to God.

It is no coincidence that the beginning of Lent has fallen in the first days of Russia’s war with Ukraine and NATO. We are tasked by God to endure hardship and suffering and by passing through such trials we mature in spirit. So many of us are rich in material things. We enjoy lives of ease and our burdens are light. But our spiritual growth is pitiful. And in the end, the literal end, that is the only growth which shall count.

Thus the hardships that we suffer are God’s way of helping us to achieve spiritual growth so that we may be prepared for what comes next. But wouldn’t it be better if we could motivate ourselves to do this without God having to throw burdens in our path. How much more meaningful would such self-determined spiritual growth be?

Berger is entirely correct in his gentle questioning. We must observe the travails of the world with careful detachment, while using what is revealed to learn and also perhaps to help others make their own steps on their individual journeys. We do not shy away from the challenges of our time; we are not cowards. But we must cultivate the spiritual discernment necessary to always stay one step ahead of the Enemy, who is so talented at using our own follies against us.

Originally published at Pushing Rubber Downhill. You can purchase Adam’s books here.