"So I [Aaron] said, 'Who has gold?' And they took off their jewelry and gave it to me. I threw it in the fire and out came this calf." Exodus 32:24 (MSG)
From the time we're little children, we know how to make excuses for our wrong-doings. We get caught with our hand in the cookie jar and exclaim, "But, mommy! I was getting a cookie for YOU!" We get caught making out on the couch with our girlfriend and exclaim, "It's not what it looked like! We weren't lying together. We were just hugging, lost our balance, and fell over." We are questioned about our sin and obfuscate the truth to the point we're arguing over the definition of the word "is."
We can shake our heads and laugh at Aaron for expecting Moses to believe that he threw gold in the fire and, when he pulled it out, there was this statue of a calf. The reality is that each one of us, at one time or another, have stretched the truth in an attempt to avoid the consequences.
The path to maturity begins with the single step of being honest about ourselves and our mistakes. Only when we're willing to admit the truth about our shortcomings can we begin the process of repentance and positive growth.