Guileless

There’s nothing worse than someone you can’t trust to tell you the truth. Isn’t honesty what we look for in a friend? Someone we can trust with our darkest secrets, our most telling fears? What about in ourselves? Do we want honesty there? When we look in the mirror do we want to see what we really look like or would we rather lie to ourselves?  When we examine ourselves are we honest?

How happy is the person whose sin the Eternal will not take into account.
    How happy are those who no longer lie, to themselves or others.

Psalm 32:2

The actual text says ‘in whom there is no guile‘ for the second part. Guile – deceit, treachery, laxness, falseness.

Guileless is another of those words that has that faint smack of almost an insult – someone who hasn’t quite grown up maybe or perhaps someone who doesn’t live in the real world, maybe a little mentally deficient even because they just don’t get it. It’s absolutely not a word we’d see used for the hero or heroine of a story. Maybe Superman, in his disguise as Clark Kent, might be described as guileless but we know he doesn’t get the girl until she realises who he really is.

But the definition of guileless is – sincere, honest, straightforward, frank, free from guile we live in an absolutely topsy-turvy crazy world. We don’t want to be guileful cos that would mean we are insidious or cunning, crafty. duplicitous. But we don’t want to be guileless cos that is unsophisticated, naive, artless.

So maybe we want to live in the middle somehow – sophisticated but innocent, clever but artless, honest but cunning. Is is any wonder we get confused and messed up?

I know where the peace and joy are found. They come from the first part of the verse, from knowing that because I confess my sin, my failings, my duplicity and treachery then they are no longer counted against me by God. Then I don’t have to lie to Him, to others or to myself about who I am. He knows who I am, I know who I am and both He and I love me. That’s the reason I lie – because I want to be loved. If I am loved, accepted there’s no need to lie and so I can be guileless. Takes some practice I think to be transparent and let people see the real me, let God see the real me without trying to hide behind a fig leaf. (It’s not that He can’t see already but I stop lying about it to myself.)

Think how stress-free that would be – no more pressure to remember or perform. Free to apologise and repent where necessary, free to let offenses go where necessary. Free to leave the issues and problems with God and free to live as He intended.

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