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Double Trouble

You've heard the expression: What you see is what you get. There are no surprises. Nothing is hidden. We call this "truth in advertising." But for many, when it comes to their lives, what we see is not what we get. Those individuals are actually living a double life. They are living a lie.

Now to some extent all of us live double lives. It goes back to the Fall and the Great Cover-Up by Adam and Eve. This tendency to hide faults and sin has been passed down to all human beings. That is why we don't see people willing to "air their dirty laundry." (Imagine those clotheslines.) As a result, we fight being totally known. That's why I can say, when it comes to living a double life, we are all guilty, including myself.

Some individuals struggle with a moral issue such as a sexual addiction or sexual fantasy. Then to keep this issue hidden, lies abound. Recently we've seen one such case in the scandal and impeachment trial of our president.

The abuse of food, is another problem area. Many feel the need to hide what and how much they eat. They may binge, purge or even starve themselves.

Money, or the desire for more, can also cause problems. Gambling is a powerful and destructive addiction.

The list goes on and on.

Because we believe these faults or sins would not be accepted, we cover them up. We do whatever it takes to keep them hidden. The fear of revealing the truth is overwhelming. The lies grow, digging the hole even deeper. In one circumstance, we are one way, then in another situation, we are something completely different. We hide a part of ourselves from business associates, neighbors and church friends. The false image we project is far different from the reality of our heart.

As I did and many have, as attested by the countless individuals I've counseled over the years, we can then carry our double life into our homes. Within our families should be the hardest place for us to hide a part of ourselves.

As I've dealt with some couples, one or both partners have found there's been a part of their lives they never told each other about—they were afraid. They felt that if what has been hidden was discovered, they would be rejected. Their shame (that says, "I deserve to be rejected") led to contempt (condemnation or hatred toward self, God and others), which recycled back to shame and contempt and on and on.

Therefore they continued to hide that which they were afraid to disclose, even to God (who knows everything about all of us already and still loves us).

So how do we stop living double lives to become men and women of integrity and truth?

First, we must make ourselves fully known to God. His truth will set us free. Then we must stop hiding from those closest to us: our spouse and family. There should be nothing we would hide from them.

I can honestly say that I must determine to live in truth everyday. If I don't submit my will to Christ, I would continue to hide myself from my wife and others.

So as not to carry a double life over into our Christianity, we must ask God to reveal anything in our lives that should not be there.

"O Lord, who may abide in Thy tent? Who may dwell on Thy holy hill? He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart. He does not slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend; in whose eyes a reprobate is despised, but who honors those who fear the Lord; he swears to his own hurt, and does not change; he does not put out his money at interest, nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken." (Psalm 15)

I guess you could say of a man or woman of honor and integrity: What you see is what you get.

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