Let the Truth Be Told
Truth is in short supply in our world today. Did we used to value truth more? Is it only recently that lying is so prevalent that we need a Truth-O-Meter to parse out every word that our leaders say to determine if they have made factual and fully revealing statements?
Lying is not new to me. Let me illustrate. First by way of justification, before I started school know that my first dog, Mickey, was run over by a truck that he so loved to chase. My next dog was hit by a car as we waited to cross the street to fly kites in an oil field in West Texas. So, be generous when you read this. It was early in the first grade that one afternoon, I walked home the 5 blocks from school. As I approached our house, my Mom and sister came out the front door. Mom saw a blonde cocker spaniel following me that I hadn’t noticed and asked, “Whose dog is that?” Without hesitation, amazing words came out of my mouth. Glibly I lied, “That is Mike’s dog. He asked me to keep it while they are on vacation.” Vacation? Really? In the middle of the school year? Miraculously, Mom bought it! She scolded me for not asking permission, but in Mom fashion she swung into action feeding the dog and giving it a bath before it came in our house. The evening was great. The dog, whose name I invented easily if not creatively, was Cocker. Cocker and I bonded immediately. However, after I was in bed and the lights were out, remorse set in. What about Cocker’s real owner? What if Mom found out that I lied? What a miserable night! First thing in the morning, I confessed to Mom that it was all a fabrication. I was suitably punished. The consequences of lying were forever impressed on my mind.
Jesus valued truth and He said that knowing the truth would set us free. (John 8:32) Paul in Ephesians 4:25 tells us to put off falsehood and speak truthfully. In John 15 we learn that Jesus has sent us the Spirit of Truth. Why is it that people lie so easily? Is it our fallen human nature? Like Paul confesses in Romans 7, we have the desire to do what is good, but we can’t consistently carry it out.
Can we renew our commitment to always speak the truth? If Satan is the Father of Lies, we certainly want no part of lying. Let’s be brutally honest with ourselves about the truth. Let’s give ourselves no latitude to play carelessly with the truth.
The word of the day is “equivocate.” Equivocation is the art of parsing out our words and of being ambiguous - saying truthful statements while concealing the full truth of the matter. For example, do you remember the leader who said, “It depends on what the meaning of the word “Is” is”?
As God’s people, let’s be known for telling the truth on all occasions with grace and love. God knows our hearts and hears our words. He knows every exaggeration, every slant of the truth. He cannot be deceived even if our mothers and others can be. Let’s redouble the value we place on truth and model truthfulness for our families and our community. Ephesians 4:15 is a powerful verse encouraging us to always speak the truth in love. May God’s Spirit of Truth give us grace to be truthful in all we say and do.