George Herbert: "The Church-porch"
Day 7: Evening
|Lie not; but let thy heart be true to God,
Thy mouth to it, thy actions to them both:
Cowards tell lies, and those that fear the rod;
The stormie working soul spits lies and froth.
Dare to be true. Nothing can need a ly:
A fault, which needs it most, grows two thereby.
| Do not lie. Let your heart be true to God, your mouth be true
to your heart and what you do should be true to both your feelings and actions.
Those afraid of truth and punishment tell lies. The cloudy, plotting soul
spouts lies and half truths. Dare to be true. [That certainly comes clear
through the centuries.] Nobody of any value, no thing in this world, nothing
can need a lie. If there is a fault to begin with [that tempts us to cover
it up with a lie], becomes two faults.
No equivocation: Do not lie. Your emotions, your acts and your words must be one. We falsify because we are afraid of the truth, when the fact will shame us and when the reality does not fit into our preconceived plan. We fail to deal openly and honestly with each other. We falsify to preserve our self esteem and as a kindness to others because they may be hurt by the truth. Like children we lie to avoid the punishment we deserve and when caught we produce more energetic, imaginative lies whipped up with bits of fact. There are those who lie with words, say one thing and mean another. There are those who falsify their emotions, smile to your face with no inner feeling. There are even those who, like hypocrites, make their acts known so they can secretly work toward what they truly believe. Emotions, actions and words verify each other and validate the true nature of the person.
In ourselves we can judge all three, the heart, the words and the works, unless we fail to notice them. This is the advantage of self evaluation or meditation, to see what was before unseen, overlooked or unconsciously unnoticed. Examine these: first the actions of the day, next the words of communication and last the intentions of the heart. How can we carry out the intentions of the heart in our speech and actions tomorrow? How can we be true to God?
Note: The motto above (in Welsh) means "The Truth against the world."
© 1997 J. R. Arner
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