Posted by: mikenicholsblog | September 30, 2012

under the bus

When is the last time that someone threw you under the bus? You may not remember the exact moment, but you have no doubt felt emotional pain from beneath that bus.  And you have wondered like I have, “how could you do that to me?” During the last week I have meditated on a real-life story of someone being thrown under the bus. It absolutely one-ups any of our stories of being mistreated or emotionally abused. What is interesting to me is that the culprit is one of my heroes. When I look at his life, there is so much good, so much faith and so much to emulate. So why would Abram (Abraham) throw his wife under the bus?  (and I wonder what “buses” were called in his day? J) 

When I look at Abram, I see a man whose life was dominated by faith; he was called the friend of God, but was flawed just like you and I.  A quick review of Genesis 12 gives us a glimpse of his great faith while letting us view a mammoth failure.  It is there we find Abram’s call and the Abrahamic Covenant .  History has been shaped by this man’s faith.  Abram’s faith led him to the Promised Land (Canaan).  But as much as his faith casts a large shadow, his struggles were no different from ours.  He found a test in the will of God when a famine came to the land of Canaan.  Have you ever obeyed the will of God, and found yourself in a difficult place?  I don’t see where Abram consulted God about what to do….he just went down to Egypt.  I would love to tell you that when famine hits the Nichols household, I always seek God about the matter, but the truth is, I don’t!  I am sure you can relate to Abram’s bad decision, and my often flawed thinking.  The story gets worse…

Once in Egypt, his fear takes over and Sarai (his wife) lands squarely under the bus.  You may already know the story, and can you believe what he did? Beginning with verse eleven of Genesis twelve, we find these words…  As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.” To save his own skin, Abram pushed his wife into the Pharaoh’s harem!  Talk about throwing your wife under the bus!  God was graceful to intervene, but this was a monumental lapse in judgment. Books could be written on this chapter and its various scenarios, but I would like to challenge you with just one thought.

Abram’s lying plot could have had disastrous consequences.  Some may say that since Sarai was his half-sister as well as his wife, it was not wrong to tell a half truth.  I don’t buy that for one second.  Neither do I accept the logic that half-truths or little white lies are okay in our generation.  We have all done it, but sin is sin is sin!  Abram’s misrepresentation was born out of selfishness (fear for his own life).  I can accept the fact that he was in a predicament, but in the will of God, trust is always a better option than fear.  His lapse could have had grave familial and historical consequences.  Our misrepresentations, half-truths and little white lies will also have consequences, and they are also born out of our selfishness.  As the world listens to Christ-followers, they should hear words of truth and trust.

I have learned much about living by faith from the friend of God.  But I have also been challenged by God choosing to let me see the flaws of His friend.  Throwing someone under the bus (especially your wife) wasn’t right then, and it’s certainly not right now.  We will all be confronted this week with the opportunity to convey half-truths and little white lies.  Our choice may be selfishness (look out for the bus), or benefiting others.  What would God choose?                                                                                                       

Keep falsehood and lies far from me. Proverbs 30:8(a)

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