Sometimes, the stories I tell about things that happened in my playing or coaching career aren’t exactly true. They’re mostly true, but not exactly true. After all, what’s a baseball story without a little embellishment?

Of course, the telling of an old baseball story isn’t inherently wrong, but when I think about Proverbs 21:6, I’m reminded to check my motives for my “additions” to the story.

“The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor, the pursuit of death.”

Here are some motives I notice that cause me to have a “lying tongue.”

Trying to impress someone whose approval I seek.

Trying to ensure I appear to be the best player/coach/parent in the room.

Trying to flatter someone who can help me advance.

Trying to appear to be something I’m not or wasn’t.

Honestly, I think this is all really difficult. I find these tendencies in myself all the time.

It’s so easy to stretch the truth, exaggerate, hold back my true opinion, act as if I agree when I don’t, or brag on past accomplishments.

Why do we do it? We like “the getting of treasures” it brings–attention, accolades, attention, perceived accomplishment.

Yet, as the verse says, treasures like this gained in ways like this don’t last. In fact, they lead us down a dark path, one of seeking identity and approval from things and people whose love and approval are fleeting.

“The older I get, the better I was.” What if that didn’t have to be true? What if there was one who loved and accepted us more than we realize?

His name is Jesus. It is his performance on our behalf that God accepts. It is his death on the cross that proves God’s love toward us. That’s a story worth telling. No embellishment needed.

Lord Jesus, help me to rest in your love and approval, and to stop seeking it from others. Amen.