The Greatest Lie Ever Told!
by Ned Wicker
We have all heard some whoppers in our time, haven’t we? From the “little white lie” to the political promise; from the television commercial to the “trust me I know what I’m doing” to the water cooler gossip at the office; from the white wash manipulation to the subtle suggestion, we have heard them all.
Lies are lies, large or small, so let’s not try to categorize them, but to try to find the very first lie that was told and why that lie is so significant.
In the book of Genesis, accepted by the three major religions of the world—Judaism, Christianity and Islam, there is an interesting conversation in Chapter 3, the story of Eve and the serpent. It started with a deception, an “innocent” question, as the serpent asked her, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’”
He knew the answer, just like a lawyer in the courtroom, who never asks a question unless he already knows the answer. He started the ball rolling in her head. God had said they could eat from every tree in the garden, with only one exception, and the serpent knew that. But out of all the trees, he focused on one tree to plant doubt in the woman’s mind.
She did answer his question correctly, but in her humanness, she added to God’s directive. She replied, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” God told them not to eat from the tree. He did not say don’t touch. The serpent’s plan was working. He had planted doubt in her mind. She was set up for the lie, the first one and the biggest one ever told.
“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
The big lie is that God will not meet any need that man has, that God deceived them and God lied to them. The serpent in the story throws her off just a little by asking her if God really said that. Then he called God a liar.
Then he said God did not want them to eat the fruit because they would become LIKE God, on the same level with the same knowledge. The serpent appealed to her vanity, to her pride. Pride is the root of all evil in the world and the serpent is the author of all lies. Man listens to the wrong voice. The results speak for themselves.
The Lie That Kills Addiction Treatment
It’s the lie that kills treatment and recovery for addict/alcoholics. What we think we need, what we think we want and how we want it are targets for the lies that creep in and destroy the process. Even if a person knows they need treatment, and knows that their drug of choice is killing them, they still might fight vigorously against a treatment plan, a setting or any other piece of the puzzle they don’t think they agree with.
It’s like a shipwrecked sailor who refuses the help of a rope that is thrown to him from a ship passing by. He didn’t want a rope, he wanted somebody to come by in a boat and pull him out of the water. Truth be told, he is in no position to argue, but he’ll argue anyway.
Always have our own idea!
That’s what’s interesting about the human condition. We’ll turn away help, quality help, because we have our own idea on the way things should be. Our own pride and arrogance takes over and chokes wisdom. I recall a grieving mother standing over the lifeless body of her 24 year-old son in the emergency room.
She talked of the countless times she and her husband tried to talk to him, tried to get him into treatment, tried to help him see for himself that his actions were foolish and dangerous. “He always was so sure of himself,” she said, sobbing through the tears. “He knew better than anybody else and we couldn’t help, even a little.”
Amy Winehouse didn’t need rehab, right? How many people check into a residential treatment center only to leave a few days later because they don’t approve of the treatment.
They tell the world “It didn’t work.” People decide what they will and will not do, they decide what is truth and what is not truth, they are autonomous without consideration for an outside force, or higher power. They know best.
Human pride makes all of us fools.
The biggest lie ever told is that God doesn’t provide everything for us, that He somehow withholds things from us and we have to take over and make the decisions.