We’ve all suffered from it at one time or another. I don’t think I know anyone who have never had a “bout” of ostrichism.
os·trich·ism noun |ˌchizəm, |ˌji-
It is the deliberate avoidance or ignorance of conditions as they exist. Just like ostriches, we sometimes want to stick our heads into the sand and pretend the world and the problems around us don’t exist.
But they do. (And standing with our heads in the sand is not very comfortable, either.)
The other day the kids at Church and I were singing a song about two builders. Yeah, the ones who built their houses on sand and on the rock.
These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.
But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards.
Matthew 7:24-25, MSG
Something that I have never thought about before…
We know the “sand man” is an idiot because who builds on sand… And the “rock guy” is the smart one because he knew what to build on.
But notice one thing: they both have finished their buildings.
Yes, one was destroyed to smithereens by the storm and the other one survived… But they have both built their houses.
I wonder how often God has allowed me to have my own way because I “knew better” how to build houses… He knew that it won’t survive, but I wanted to do it my way. And I might’ve even put the finishing touches on that building… I might’ve slapped myself on the back and thought “Hmm, I did it my way and I got my house.”
I did get my house… but not for long.
A few Fridays back, we were discussing self-deception with my friends and we talked about the times in our lives where we thought that this is absolutely what we should do. Everything seemed so perfect for the occasion… There were some minor drawbacks, but who pays attention to those? Carpe diem!
And we’ve dived into those things head-first… only to meet the rocky bottom and think “Oh, yeah, I knew about this part.”
Ostrichism, or self-deception, is perhaps one of the most dangerous things – especially when we start to believe our own “white” lies.