When you dig a hole for yourself, I guess you have to throw the dirt on someone.
Wayne Jacobsen and Dave Coleman put this line into the mouth of a child in their somewhat controversial book. A simple line, but I found myself paused in my reading as I thought it through. How many times do we find ourselves attacking others, throwing dirt on them, to cover up our own failings? Why do we do it? The old proverb is true:
Throw dirt enough, and some will stick.
If you persistently say bad things about someone, people will begin to believe your accusations, even if they are not true. Commonly called mudslinging, it is might also be a means of distracting others from the hole being dug; or maybe from how dirty we are ourselves. Sadly, I can do this is some pretty subtle ways to the people I love the most – shifting blame, even “accusing” my wife for faults as I toss the dirt from my personal mud hole on her (probably all the while thinking self-righteously that I’m building her a castle, or a fine sculpture, or some other silly mind game).
My Bible reading for the day included this classic passage – the place I need be every day to keep from digging myself a hole or tossing dirt.
Psalm 139:23–24 (ESV)
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!