When I was young, maybe ten or eleven years old, I was terrified of lie detectors.
I was afraid of being unjustly accused and knew that there was little chance of passing since I would surely act accused. I feared the pressure of having to control my breathing, heart rate, and sweating in response to questions.
I was unconcerned about the questions themselves because I'd have not committed the crime. So they weren't my focus. It was only my response to the questions that mattered. The police department wouldn't know if I did it, so the truth was irrelevant in an earthly context. What mattered was my response to the external stimuli of the questions.
The parallel in the spiritual life was that I thought Jesus didn't matter so much because He, like the truth, is dependable and sure. I had to worry about my response, not the objective reality. God is Objective Reality but our response is the part that is changeable and subject to failure. And yet to constantly focus on our response is to...focus on us!
Now the assumption or reality in the case of the lie detector test was that I was innocent, while with God I stand guilty. That is freeing. And the judge is not a cold piece of fallible equipment, but a loving, infallible God. Thank God!!
I recall a friend in junior high. I used to come over to his house all the time. I also secretly had a crush on his sister. But that wasn't why I came over to his house - I wanted to trade baseball cards with him and such. But when it came to light that I had a crush on his sister, I was too embarrassed to come over again. It's hard to remember exactly why. Was I simply embarrassed? Did I feel like I'd betrayed him, as if our sisters were off-limits because they were our sisters? Or was it that I thought he thought that I might've been using his friendship in order to get closer to his sister? To be thought of as inauthentic was unbearable to me and, as in the case of the lie detector case, even though I knew I was not visiting him for that reason (we rarely if ever saw his sister) I thought I would not bear up under imagined additional scrutiny. (The funny and sad thing is, it was all likely a non-issue for him.) But I saw it as a situation where I was unjustly accused and was sure I would not be able convince my friend otherwise, just as I would not be able to convince the lie detector otherwise.
Certainly as a kid, having a lack of control over "inappropriate emotions" can't be a rare thing. It's because you have to respond in a certain way that makes it almost impossible to respond in that way. It's a skill we improve upon as adults, but the most egregious example was one time when I was a server at Mass. The one rule is to never giggle during Mass let alone a funeral Mass. And yet somehow my fellow server and I found ourselves in fits of uncontrollable laughter.
Recalling that, I probably had good reason to fear a lie detector!