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“Up to Our Armpits in Our Own Choosing!” 1 Samuel 14: 37-46 Key verse(s): 39a: “As surely as the Lord lives, even if it lies with my son Jonathan, he must die . . .”

I was fifteen minutes late for my appointment and knew that it would be an embarrassment to admit that I had simply gotten up too late to leave the house on time. A deep sense of panic began to invade my senses as I slipped into panic mode. I loosened my tie as the rush of adrenaline brought a sudden surge of body heat. How would I explain my poor timing? I really was trying to make a good impression on this client. As the traffic slowed menacingly in front of me, realization slowly began to change into cooling rationalization. I retightened my tie. “Why reveal my mistake?” I thought. “I will just make up some story that he will believe. He knows that I have an older car. Tell him that you had car trouble and the delay was unavoidable. Yes, that would do.” What had been the heat of concern now emerged a believable story that would save face and embarrassment. I arrived and thankfully my client did not seemed too bothered by the late arrival. I set down my briefcase and, with a look of genuine concern, began to apologize for my late arrival. When I got to the part about the old car, a look of skepticism spread over his face. I followed his gaze as he looked out his office window where he had seen me pull up in my wife’s late model car. Catching his gaze and discovering my error, I was quick to add that “my car never made it out of the driveway this morning but that I had to switch cars before leaving.” He was quick to change the subject but it wasn’t long before I was loosening my tie again as body heat once again began to build and rationalization quickly reverted back into realization.

When we put ourselves into situations where one error is compounded by another, we easily risk discovery, embarrassment and humiliation. Saving face is something that every one of us is guilty of at some time in this life. And, saving face can often lead us into even more ridiculous situations that are even harder to get out of than the one that got us into it in the first place. Take this example of someone who, wishing to save face, got a little more than she bargained for.

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