I have no stats to back this up, but I think people actually lie to pastors more than anyone else. It’s probably because we really do want to believe people have good intentions. It’s also probably because we live sheltered little lives and never really come into contact with sin–like really filthy, sticky sin.
Because we are pastors. And men who are set apart to study the Word of God wouldn’t know anything about the depths of human depravity or the deception of the human heart.
So, below I’ve gathered some advice for the next time you plan to lie to your pastor or to a pastor you meet in the community. Here are five good places to start. I can’t remember a time I wasn’t completely fooled by these!
“I wish I could!”
This is a good one to get us started. There are a lot of things going on at church that are…well, lame. And you hate to tell your pastor “no”. Heck, I’m a pastor, and I hate hearing people say “no”. So let’s make a deal: you lie to me and say, “Oh, I wish I could but…” and I’ll agree to believe you.
This is a great way to keep up appearances that everyone is excited and on board with the life and ministry of the church, that every member would be heavily involved in church life–if only the rest of life would stop imposing! It’s life’s fault, you see, that you can’t be more involved. Life keeps scheduling all kinds of events, and both you and your pastor know that church is your family’s numero uno priority…but life. Ah, life.
There, there. I wish I could, too. I wish I could, too.
This is a great way to throw a pastor off your scent. If you “Amen!” the parts of the sermon that are most convicting to you, he will be sure to believe you are particularly spotless in those areas. Because who amen’s something that is pointed at their own life? Amen says, “Yeah, preach it, pastor! Lay into ’em!”
Sermon on lust? Amen that thing till kingdom come. Sermon on laziness? Make an extra effort to stay awake that Sunday so you can really let them fly. Amens can even be appropriate in conversations after service if you still aren’t certain that the pastor got the memo that you definitely don’t need to hear that sermon–but someone else surely does.
“Good sermon, Pastor!”
Sometimes pastors just need you to lie to us through your teeth. When we’ve totally bombed, and you slept through the middle 15 minutes, the best thing you can do as you exit the building is give us that downturned gaze and a firm handshake with a solid, “Good sermon, pastor!”
We both know it’s a lie. But that’s okay. In that awkward pause before you leave, we can sense your meaning: “I’ll excuse your poor homiletics, and you excuse my snoring.”
True brotherly love.
“I read my Bible every day!”
Don’t know the difference between Moses and Joseph? Can’t even explain the basic parts of the Gospel? Don’t know if there are 38 or 44 books in the Bible? Doesn’t matter. Your pastor will look past the fact that your life in no way mirrors the commands of Scripture because he desperately wants to believe that you do actually read your Bible.
“Everybody skips a day here and there, but I’m sure they really do make an effort to have daily time in the Word,” he’ll think. And he’ll be such a fool! Tell this lie, and it will be undetectable every time. Guaranteed.
“See you Sunday!”
This is the mack-daddy of all zingers. Whether you are a church member, someone in the community, or a student, this lie won’t miss. Try it out early in the week, like on a Tuesday. That way you can really get his hopes up all week as he plans his sermon and thinks about how to exhort and encourage you personally.
Then when Sunday rolls around, and he steps into the pulpit, and you’re missing from the congregation, he’ll have egg allllll over his face. Picture his expression–priceless! That’s a joke you can laugh all the way to the lake. It’s just as funny lying on your pillow on a lazy Sunday morning.
Oh, and by the way, it’s a great way to get a pastor off your back if he’s trying too hard to convince you the Gospel is true.
Silly pastors–why are we so gullible?
P.S.–this is meant in all good humor. Let’s laugh together at ourselves!