The hermit lie.
(Originally posted June 22, 2007)
I am kind of a lie connoisseur. After spending the better part of my life lying I’ve become apt at recognizing them and one of my favorites is the Hermit Lie. A friend of mine reminded me of how funny this one is just the other night.
He told me he really struggled spiritually whenever he went down the snack food aisle at the grocery story and saw the Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls. Now clearly I’m substituting “Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls” for something far more insidious and obscene. No one could ever struggle with Swiss Cake Rolls, they’re delightful.
But when I asked him if he was going to skip the snack food aisle the next time he went grocery shopping he got offended and told me the Hermit Lie. “I can’t eliminate every temptation in my life. I’d never leave the house.”
On the surface that’s true. If you tried to eliminate every temptation in the world, you’d have to live under your bed. And you’d become a hermit and would eventually smell weird. But it’s crazy to think that your two options are either keep doing everything or stop doing everything. That if you stop going down the snack food aisle you’ll instantly become some kind of sinless recluse.
The truth is that if there’s something you struggle with, stop doing that thing. I’m not saying you can’t ever go to the grocery store to buy food. You need food. But if one particular aisle is causing you to stumble, don’t think you’ve got to go on a hunger strike. Avoid that aisle. You won’t become a hermit. Promise.