Lies of Omission...and Gluten Free, Crunchy Nut Butter Bars
She just stared at me. Those eight year old eyes already aware of the sin in not stating the whole truth. Her face blank, her mom (that’s me!) knowing part of the picture was missing. She hadn’t really done anything wrong until that moment she omitted a key element in order to alter my opinion.
It’s not so bad, is it? I mean, just letting a little piece of the whole story go left unsaid?
But, what's truly the motive when we leave details out? When we determine what NOT to say, isn't it sometimes a morsel of the matter that could change the entire outcome of a conversation. It’s like leaving a small blank white space on an otherwise beautifully colorful canvas. Or like a paragraph missing its punctuation.
Or in more convicting terms, maybe it’s subtle manipulation manifesting as our own subconscious means of molding opinions of others.
I know I’ve been there. Wanting to leave certain nuisances unnoticed, fighting with the desire to protect my persona by not telling the whole truth…of course, without actually lying. But more often for me, it’s a proud hesitation, a holding back of being ‘real’ in order to protect my ego. ~Ouch…my heart cowers at that confession~
Can any of you relate? Perhaps at times you pardon yourself from feeling small by standing tall in untold details.
The official, most simple definition of omission is ‘something neglected or left undone’.
The Bible speaks of sins of omission in many passages. One, James 4:17, says is like this, ‘Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.’
Sin. We ever-so-‘innocently’, without drawing any attention, walk away from what we know is right. Yet the intent of our hearts is seen by our Savior. Human eyes and ears cannot always identify what we leave out, how we disobey by simply not responding, or the subtle sin of not stating a vital fact. But, with HIS all seeing eyes, His ‘omnipresence’, He sees into our hearts and knows our intent.
What’s more intriguing, though, is how He can actually use our hard, whole honesty to set an example even when we don’t want to be set apart. He can create goodness for others when we humble our hearts. So, sometimes we must swallow our pride for a greater purpose. We have to step out in honesty, in utter obedience without omitting important details in what we do or what we say. Because sometimes He dwells in the details most daunting to us! It's just one reason we must set our own self-preserving motives aside.
Notice when you feel the urge to manipulate a matter by leaving something unsaid or undone. Maybe your temptation is as small as not providing the encouragement for a hurting friend even though you feel God laying her on your heart. Perhaps it’s failing to swallow your pride despite God prompting you to show grace to your spouse in a stressful situation. Or maybe, it’s a lie of omission allowing you to control the outcome of a conversation. Whatever you avoid saying or doing for your own self-driven volition, reconsider by responding to His will.
Your small, humbling act of FULL INCLUSION and HONESTY may result in ripples of His love and lessons reaching others around you.
So there I was with my little girl, convinced I hadn’t heard the whole truth but holding my tongue. After all, I’d already questioned her and saw conviction in her heart coming from her downcast eyes. How could I teach her the lesson in lies of omission? And instill the value of whole, humbling truth?
I didn't have to. Hours later she confessed the whole truth and why she’d left part out. It wasn’t for my good or to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. Instead, it was to ensure she’d have permission to play with the kids she knew the conversation wasn’t quite right with. We talked. We explored examples of when it’s okay to leave something out and how to state tough truths delicately. I knew her young mind understood how keeping certain facts uncovered, keeping some feelings hidden, could hurt her more.
And now as usual, I saw this life lesson during development of a recipe in my kitchen! Here's how it went...
My goal: to makeover a recipe in order to provide better nutrition for my family. My plan: to manipulate their tastebuds in order to wean them from eating SO MUCH peanut butter. My strategy: to use hidden, more nutritionally dense ingredients, such as almond butter to replace part of the peanut butter. My execution: to present the new recipe without revealing my secrets (sound familiar? leaving the little details out...omission!)
My personal verdict: a lie of omission (having to do with nutrition) can be committed with a pure heart and honest intent!
My result: These brand new crunchy nut-butter bars and my little nutritional lie of ommision worked beautifully!
I believe hiding certain foods to form new, healthier nutritional preferences is an acceptable honest intention. (wink, wink!) What do you think?
- 2 cups natural peanut butter
- 1 ½ cups natural almond butter
- ½ cup plus two tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 cup oats (choose gluten free if someone has an allergy)
- 2 cup crunchy flax cereal
- OPTIONAL: CHOCOLATE TOPPING
- You can simply melt some dark chocolate in a small sauce pan
- Combine ¼ cup coconut oil, ½ cup cocoa and 4 tablespoons of pure maple syrup in a pan and cook together, whisking frequently,
- Add a teaspoon of vanilla at the end and stir well.
- Combine the wet ingredients (nut butters, maple syrup) by stirring in a bowl.
- Combine dry ingredients (oats, cereal and/or nuts) by stirring together in another bowl.
- Stir wet ingredients and dry ingredients.
- Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper and press mixture into the pan firmly.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, just enough time to melt the mixture together and heat through.
- Let cool in pan. Spread the chocolate over the bars if you are using it.
- Remove from pan carefully by lifting the parchment paper onto a cutting board or gently flipping out. Cut into bars. If they crumble a little, it's ok! The nutrition is still intact and my girls don't seem to mind what shape these simple, delicious bars are in!
*I used Enjoy Life brand (seen in picture). You could also sub with other whole-grain cereal or nuts, but I do really recommend this flax cereal in the recipe because it is so good with just the right crunch!
*I make my own almond butter and I LOVE it. Here is the recipe: Almond Butter.