Hide and Seek Attention

I am a person who values truth. I cannot stand being lied to. I believe the best relationships are built on honesty and it is one of my goals in life to be as honest as I can possibly be.

All of that being said, I lie.

I have tried many times to make myself a good liar and hide how I feel. I have tried to make people believe me by constantly saying things were fine, even when they weren’t. Unfortunately I am one of those people who cannot hide how they are feeling. So I will say, “things are great” while my lips are quivering and I am about to burst into tears. Or I will say, “I am so happy right now” with my teeth clenched and an angry expression on my face. I want people to believe my words, but it is obvious by my body language that I am being dishonest. When I tell people these lies, I am fully aware that I am lying. I am fully aware that I am sinning. But I still do it.

I am not really sure why I lie in those situations, but if there is anything I have learned in the past year, it is that there is a lot more to sin than the actual act. The motivation driving the behavior is what we need to examine the most.

“When I tell people these lies, I am fully aware that I am lying. I am fully aware that I am sinning. But I still do it.”

Maybe I lie because I am trying to hide and do not want to go into my problems with that person. But maybe the reason that I lie is that it’s a twisted way for me to get attention from the person, to manipulate their care for me so that it caters to my self-centered desires. By forcing them to pursue me and keep asking me what is wrong, I get even more attention, and in a way, it makes me feel like they are on my side. But maybe that’s what hiding is. Maybe hiding is really seeking attention. Maybe hiding is really wishing people would reach out more, that they would pay more attention to you. Maybe the self-protecting woman is actually self-promoting.

The more I think through it, the more I realize that a corrupted desire for attention is the root of the sin of lying for me. I know this because when a person simply says “ok” and drops the conversation without pressing, I have always been disappointed.

“But maybe that’s what hiding is. Maybe hiding is really seeking attention.”

Saying I am fine when I am not is not just lying—it is selfish, it is attention-seeking, and thereby self-promoting. It is me trying to make people focus solely on me. I want to elevate myself to the place where God is, and that is pure arrogance and unadulterated pride.

The great thing about Scripture is that it does not contain lies. God is Truth (John 14:6), and therefore it is not in His character to lie. If I desire the things that Christ does, if I want to be like Jesus, I must strive for holiness (1 Peter 1:15-16). Lying, selfishness, pride, self-promotion: none are in line with the character of God, none are holy.

I am thankful that God has revealed to me more of my sinfulness because only when He reveals the depth of our depravity can we turn and start walking God’s way, the way of repentance. Life change cannot happen unless we know the distinct ways we are uniquely broken.

In what areas of your life is God, in his mercy and kindness, revealing your unique brokenness? How have you been trying to self-protect or self-promote (lying, denial, isolation, self-soothing), instead of acknowledging your brokenness to God and others? How might your life begin to change if you submitted to God’s exposing truth?

Hannah Wilson

Hannah loves going for a drive, being by the water, and learning about anything at all. Getting a new stamp in her passport is her favorite feeling and she loves to sit on the porch on warm summer nights. She loves to make people laugh and cook them some supper. Hannah attends our Powdersville campus.