Sunday, April 13, 2008
Fortress of Lies
I want to write just a couple more blogs from quotes inside the book The Shack.
In the chapter, A Meeting of Hearts, Papa and Mack are talking about lies. Papa says, "… Lies are one of the easiest places for survivors to run. It gives you a sense of safety, a place where you only have to depend on yourself. But it's a dark place, isn't it?"
Papa continues, "Lies are a little fortress; inside them you can feel safe and powerful. Through your little fortress of lies you try to run your life and manipulate others. But the fortress needs walls, so you build some. These are the justifications for your lies. You know, like you are doing this to protect someone you love, to keep them from feeling pain. Whatever works, just so you feel okay about the lies."
I think the lies Christians tell themselves are the lies seasoned with all the religious talk that we've learned. And the sad thing is that we really believe that we are spiritual and believing the truth.
When you pull out of religion and decide to try to walk in grace and truth, you gradually begin to see how lie-covered most of what we say and do in the name of religion really is.
I've done a moderate amount of personality studies. I was drawn to the teaching that we build our personalities as a house around us to protect and to hide ourselves from others and from really living life. My personality type is perfectionistic and analytical. That works well for my profession, but plays havoc in relationships and life. I have to work at tearing down the walls of my protection of personality and seek to live life transparently and honestly. That is tough stuff. It feels exposed and uncomfortable.
I have family and friends who have other types of personalities or walls of protection such as being a helper, or being a controller, or being fun and funny, or being smart, or others. One writer said we're like bumper cars, bumping into each other's personalities and never really getting to know each other.
This paragraph in The Shack reminded me of some of my personality studies. Most people, and I for a long time, didn't consider personalities as something that could be changed or as lies we had built up around us for safety and protection. There has been a measure of freedom since embracing that idea. Food for thought.