Author Robert Wolgemuth Reveals the Truth about Lies
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A lie. A simple three letter word that when executed properly can cause a world of trouble. It seems no one is immune to lying. So many people, especially men, have put their integrity, honesty, and credibility in perilous jeopardy due to the utterance of words that are the opposite of being true.
If I mean well, that’s good enough
Pleasure and entertainment can truly satisfy me
I’m measured by how I compare with other men
In his latest book, Lies Men Believe: And the Truth That Sets Them Free, best-selling author Robert Wolgemuth unpacks a series of 40 lies that men most commonly accept and points readers toward eternal truths that can make all the difference between being wrong and right.
I recently spoke with Wogelmuth about whether there is a difference between the lies men believe as compared to women, if there is a particular lie men tell themselves that is a gateway to others, and why men are so closely guarded when it comes to revealing their sin.
A real foundational question to begin, is there a difference between the lies and deception that men believe versus what women believe?
I think we as men treat lies differently. I think there's probably more pride involved which has us resistant to the truth. In the chapter I wrote on “foundations”, it’s the chapter that opens the book. It takes us back to the Garden of Eden. God spoke to Adam. There was no record of God's speaking to Eve in terms of the rules about the tree. So now there's a conversation between the serpent and Eve. We have to assume that Adam told her about the rules. And she knew from him what the rules were about eating the fruit of the tree. So where was Adam during this conversation? Well, I know. Are you ready? At least I think I know and I believe that a lot of scholars agree with this. There's no record of Adam saying anything during this conversation, but when he took the fruit and ate of it, what is the next verse? Eve gave it to her husband and he ate of it. Now, unless she had a good arm and threw it across the garden, it sounds like she handed it to him. The photo on the cover of my book sort of tells the story. You we know it wasn't an apple. It wasn't likely an apple, but more often than that, that's what people think of it as. There's an apple with two bites out of it. One of the biggest problems that men face is passivity. In other words, standing back. So Adam didn't step in. It was clear that he decided that he'd rather disobey God than displease his wife. That's a bad decision if you're ever confronted with that one. I think one of Adam’s first problems and first mistakes was to be passive, deciding that he'd rather disobey God who we could not see. He couldn't see God rather than displease or embarrass his wife.
Is there any one lie that men believe that is sort of the keystone or gateway to all the other lies that we encounter?
Wow, that's a question I've never been asked. A.W. Tozer said, “What comes into a man's mind when he thinks about God is the most important thing about him.” I think the biggest and most important lies and the most important truth that offsets those lies is the lies we believe about God. I would say that's a big one because it has to do with how I live, how I think, my conduct, my character … that’s a big one. But I would say to answer your question, I think I'd go to the first section of the book, which is actually called Chapter Two in the book, the first five lies that each have to do with my relationship with God.
A common thread that I find throughout your book and what I have experienced myself as a man is that we think we can simply hide our sins. Why do you think that is?
It's pride. I do not stand in judgment. I would love to consider this book a conversation rather than a book. There's no platform, there's no podium, there's no microphone, but it's pride. It's my resistance to confessing or to admitting that I'm in trouble, that I've sinned, that I'm selfish, that I'm pride filled, that my marriage isn't where it should be and it's my fault that it's not, that my kids are alienated from me, I don't have the courage to step up and challenge them with how they're speaking or what they're doing. I think men are afraid. What are they afraid of? I think a lot of men are afraid of their wives. Men tend to not be as quick to respond to angry outbursts. I think men tiptoe around their wives. Just think about conversations that you know you need to have with your wife but you're afraid to have it. You tiptoe around it. You're looking for just the right time. I will do that next week or we're going to get away in a month, then we will talk about that stuff. Then I'll open that subject up with her. I think some men are afraid of their kids. This is the first generation where your kids really are smarter than you. We thought we were when we were kids, but you know, every once in a while I'll, I'll have some kind of a conundrum with my computer or my smart phone and I'll say, ‘Man, I need an 11 year old right now.’
Why are men so closely guarded when they share about their sins? Women seem to be far more open to talking about it.
Once again, it's pride. It's an unwillingness to be open. When was the last time one of your male friends called and said, “I wanted to just call you Chris and just see how you're doing.” It doesn’t. But that happens to our wives all the time. We don't do as well in developing and nurturing relationships with other men. And part of that is fear of disclosure and lack of accountability. That takes us back to the problem of folks falling from grace or falling into grace. My buddy R.C. Sproul used to say that we're not open with each other. We're not transparent. And again, I think that's a pride thing. I want you to think that I'm who I look like I am rather than who I am. And I talk about that a lot in this book.
After people have read Lies Men Believe, as an author what would you like your readers to get out of the experience? What is your greatest hope for the book?
Living a holy life. Here's another one. A good night's rest. There have been times in my life when I was involved in stuff I'm not proud of. And I remember waking up in the night. Of course the older you get, the more often that happens for other reasons. And trying to go back to sleep and suddenly that stuff comes back to your memory and in the darkness of the night it gets bigger and bigger and bigger. And my hope is that a guy would face up to what he's dealing with, what he's believing, find the truth of God's Word and to be able to sleep at night.
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