The problem with the Truth.
True democracy is based on the gift of freedom, and the gift of freedom comes from the knowledge of truth. “You shall know the truth” means that truth is attainable, truth is knowable, truth matters. “The truth shall set you free” means that truth is not abstract and irrelevant, but powerful and liberating. Truth changes things. Lies kill.
The ‘Big Book’ in Alcoholics Anonymous says that anyone can get well if they are willing to be totally honest and truthful with themselves, God, and others. I very much admire the radical honesty and vulnerability of AA people. They have a lot to teach many of us.
I once heard it said that: “Thetruth will set you free but first it will make you miserable”, and I believe that that is true. The truth really does hurt, but when the truth is spoken in love rather than in judgment, there is an amazing healing that can take place.
Jesus said; ‘I am the Way and the Truth and the Life’. He claimed to embody the essence of truth and meaning in his very person. To Pontius Pilate, he provocatively said: ‘Everyone on the side of truth listens to me’. Many people want to patronize Jesus and say nice things about him. But how many of us really want to listen deeply to him and let his words impact the core of our lives and personalities?
The problem with the truth is that it is most often deeply inconvenient, morally inconvenient, socially inconvenient, financially inconvenient, politically inconvenient. Mark Twain once said that it is not the parts of the Bible which he doesn’t understand that trouble him, but rather the parts that he does understand. The truth will set us free, if we are willing to pay the price. But the cost can be very high indeed. The gift of democracy has been won again and again because many of our ancestors laid down their lives so that we might be free. All tyrants and dictators hate the truth. But the truly wise leaders love truth, because they know that only the truth sets people free. Only the truth brings growth. Only the truth brings life, abundant and overflowing. As Americans, perhaps we need to rediscover a passionate commitment to truth. Our republic cannot survive without it. Our families cannot survive without it.
Our society desperately needs a fresh infusion of the Spirit of Truth to stir up our consciences, soften our hearts, and enlighten our minds because our hearts are deceitful above all things and beyond cure. We have an amazing ability to fool ourselves and hurt ourselves, yet God promises that, if we will let Him, His Spirit will lead us into all truth.