I have a very low tolerance for deception. My best friend coined a phrase that best describes a gift God has developed in me that most people refer to as discernment. She calls it my B.S. Radar. That more accurately hits it for me. It's not that I can catch people in a lie or that I'd be a good detective or anything. I am pretty observant but mostly because I have self-diagnosed A.D.D. Stuff doesn't get by me because it calls me away from what I'm focused on. Distractions are a subtle form of deception, by the way. But spiritual discernment is something deeper. It senses the motives of others.
I used to be very naive about people's intentions. My tendency was to excuse behavior and give people the benefit of any doubt I happened to have. I suppose my philosophy was that people were generally good. I didn't know much about people, obviously. The hard way found me. Time after time I was betrayed and used by the selfish. Even after they were done with me I'd patch up my own wounds and convince myself they were just troubled and broken and the damage caused was mostly my own doing. Then I'd open up to the next opportunist and drink in the lies despite my experience. Casting all cares aside I would take chance after chance with my heart, believing that someone someday would be good enough to save me from the destruction.
No one was. They kept coming, one after another with false promises and selfish ambition. I tried to be like them but my love for the truth wouldn't let me. Plus, I'm just not good enough at thinking several steps ahead like them. I was desperate to be loved and known so I swallowed lies whole like a gambler who believes the jackpot is meant for him. If I just kept spending someday it would all pay off. It never has. Not until I realized where my devotions were meant to lie.
There is someone who deserves my devotion, my heart, and my life. He has watched me ping pong from broken heart to bad choice to burn out time and time again. It took a lot to get me to release my desires for the things I longed to have: acceptance, approval, love.
Thankfully my stubbornness is only rivaled by my insatiable hunger for answers. I could care less about what you've done compared to knowing why you've done it. This is the gift, the radar that has over the years been honed by God Himself. It is something that is a characteristic of God and it can only come from God. He desires authenticity and purity. Anyone can go through motions and persevere out of love for themselves. But only people called by God can love Him in spirit and in truth. Only God can grant the light that illuminates our deepest purposes of heart. Of ourselves we are hopeless worshippers of lesser things. We must serve something or someone. But the only worthy target of our worship is God. So all the answers and found in Him.
I often find myself asking my kids (even my toddler), "Why did you do that?!" I know full well that they were being selfish, thoughtless, immature children. But I want the root motivation to be sought out. There's something deep down I can help them with that is manifesting itself in bad choices. I'm their mom, so there's a chance for me to illuminate that part of them and focus my love there. With adults I don't have that privilege. Stuff has been in the dark for decades and by the time I come along and ask, "Why did you do that?!" they've got a list of deceptions a mile long, some are from their upbringing and some are from how they coped with their upbringing.
I know now that the devil is the father of lies and when he speaks lies he's speaking his native language. As is to be expected by humans, we also speak this language fluently. It comes naturally to us because, naturally, we obeyed the devil in Adam and Eve. Truth is harder for us to understand, no... it's impossible. Without God we are doomed to die in this deception. So I have an aversion to lies now. God's life within me repels them. If it even smells like a lie, I spiritually gag. If the liar doesn't even know they're being deceived, themselves (which is often the case), I ask for God's mercy on them. May He shine His light slowly into their dark corners as He did mine. But I don't buy their words.
The only way I've developed this ability is by saturating myself in Truth. I have very little tolerance for the things of this lying world. The devil is crafty in the traps he sets for people. We are greatly outmatched. But when I seek refuge in God, my Rock, He lifts me up so I can see through all the lies. There's no safer, more real place, than in His arms.