When things don’t make sense to us, most times we should assume that we are not stupid. (There are exceptions; but let’s start with this thought — when you think something is “off”, pay attention.) A common example of putting lipstick on a pig for me is when a couple in the middle of working through infidelity come to talk to me about God’s view on divorce. We know a couple things about divorce from the scriptures: (1) God isn’t a fan and (2) God made provision for it in the Law.
It doesn’t sound like a problem for a pastor, right? One spouse, and usually both, are deeply worried about violating the covenant they made before God when they married. We can check off option 1 above — God isn’t a fan of divorce. Inspired by God’s way of seeing, I try to live in agreement with God. I grieve over divorce too. I empathize with their grief.
But I’ve learned to ask follow up questions. Without fail the person most vehemently championing for the “God hates divorce” position breaks eye contact and all of a sudden finds my office-grade, coffee stained carpet fascinating when I ask him/her to rate their passion level for God’s command that reads: Do not commit adultery.
See my point? Something is off in this discussion; someone is not ready to talk truth.
A cynical person might suggest that the adulterer in this situation might be using the scriptures as a way to manipulate his/her spouse to stay in the marriage. At a minimum, surely the adultery is worthy of discussion if we are concerned about God’s way of seeing things.
Instead of using scripture as a supporting document for our own preferences, I would suggest that we realize that even on thorny issues like divorce — where we know God loves us so much he hopes we never have to go through that suffering AND he made legal provision for it — we keep our eyes on the bigger picture.
Don’t put lipstick on a pig.
How might you be putting lipstick on a pig? Any incongruencies in what you believe versus how you are living? Anything that you are trying NOT to notice?
But God’s angry displeasure erupts as acts of human mistrust and wrongdoing and lying accumulate, as people try to put a shroud over truth. But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being.
Romans 1, The Message