Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Am I a Poor Judge of Character?

Since I can't sleep tonight, I'm writing a blog. I used to fall asleep without any problems, but middle age has ruined that for me. Sigh.

One time, several years ago, I witnessed a situation where I learned that I'd been lied to. Not just a little white lie, but a systematic and complicated network of deception by a person to conceal the fact that he had AIDS. When the truth finally came out, along with all the sordid accompanying details, I (and others) responded first with shock. Then sadness. Then anger. Then with self-doubt. The questions came: "Am I such a bad judge of character that I couldn't see through the lies? Shouldn't I have figured this out? How did I allow myself to be duped? Am I that stupid? If he lied to me, I wonder how many other people are lying to me? Should I examine people's words more carefully before I accept them? Am I too trusting?"

Years have passed, but I'm still uncomfortable when I recall that situation. I guess it has been hard to forgive this person--for his bad choices and for lying to me about them.

Recently, I've faced a new but similar situation. I trusted someone but later learned that this person was not worthy of my trust. In this case, I confronted the person and they admitted their sin and asked for forgiveness. I actually told them I forgave them, and indeed I tried to forgive, but truthfully, I'm not sure I really have deep down inside my heart. I still hurt over their bad choices, and I still question myself for allowing myself to be deceived.

It is tempting to develop an attitude of "trust no one" to avoid being duped again.

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