I’m one of those people who do it. Read between the lines. Sometimes I may be off in my assessment by doing so, but often I’m right on the mark.
But you know what? I’d rather you just give it to me straight so I don’t have to analyze what you’ve said or even attempt to read between the lines.
Be upfront. Honest. To use an old 60’s motto, tell it like it is.
Because if you’re not straightforward, your lines often are just that – lines.
And when I can’t believe what you say, I’d rather not even try.
When I was a child, we often chanted an old saying, “Liar, liar, pants on fire. Nose as long as a telephone wire.”
I guess we were referencing Pinocchio whose nose kept growing longer and longer every time he told a lie. So if your nose was as long as a telephone wire, wow, did you ever tell a whopper!
Lying is one thing I really can’t tolerate. Lying breaks any assemblance of trust you may have had in another person and shreds it to nothing. It leaves a devastating sense of betrayal in its wake.
I think back a few years to witnessing someone tell bold face lies without any regrets or remorse. How can anyone with a conscience at all do that? It boggles my mind.
And that’s when I chose to draw my own lines – lines in the sand, so to speak – because those lines of deception infuriated me and it took every ounce of self-control I had not to retaliate. I haven’t nor will I cross over the line with a person who practices such duplicity.
I won’t treat the deceiver badly because I know as a believer in Christ, I’m to live my life exhibiting the fruit of the spirit. If you’re not familiar with these ‘fruits,’ you can find them in The Bible in the book of Galatians, Chapter 5, verses 22-23.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
I can show all of those gracious attributes to the one who feeds my loved ones or me lines of deceit by not reacting in anger or revenge, but in order to protect myself from losing self-control, I also must draw the line.
Cut off communication. Go my own way. Discontinue having conversations with the person who chooses to deceive and spew lies.
It’s called setting boundaries. Dividing lines. Creating space between two people where there really needs to be space.
As a believer, I know I must practice self-control and that’s why I draw that imaginary line in the sand between myself and someone who causes distress to someone I care about or me. That line, that boundary, protects us from the one who has no self-control but attempts to manipulate others and distort the truth.
It doesn’t mean I can’t forgive the transgression. But I don’t have to continue a relationship with that person.
Drawing that line and setting a healthy and godly boundary demonstrates that I’m not giving the offending person the opportunity to besiege me with more ill treatment. It’s not wrong to set boundaries with someone who causes harm and destruction when reconciliation isn’t possible.
The poet Robert Frost once wrote: “The middle of the road is where the white line is – and that’s the worst place to drive.”
I find that to be true. I don’t enjoy drawing the line but I’ve found it necessary to determine where I stand. Choosing the middle of the road won’t prevent the one who spreads deceit and hurtfulness from continuing to damage relationships. I don’t have to read between the lines to see that.
“Sometimes you have to, as I say, build bridges where you can – but draw lines where you must.” ~ Fred Thompson
This week’s photo challenge theme was lines.