A Truth Telling Culture
November 16, 2021
Truth telling is not always easy. There are often things that need to be said, and yet, we delay saying them or we flat out avoid it all together. Sharing our faith in God with others in a way that will invite them to also step into a faith-life is often put off. Fear keeps us from speaking the truth of what we believe and how we live. Fear of what they will think of us, how they will respond, of being labelled or shunned.
We need to create a truth telling culture within our own lives.
A truth telling culture calls us to surrender to the truth – to be humble and vulnerable and willing to submit ourselves to the truth even when it’s most difficult. God summons us toward the light because he is the light and he wants us to live in “the true light that gives light to everyone.“ Notice these words from Jesus, who knew the human heart better than anyone: “those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.“ God’s call for us to live in the true light is an exhortation to know the truth, make truth a way of life, open ourselves to the Spirit’s revealing truth, and be vulnerable to the truth so that we can live honestly before God.
Only the truth heals and sets us free.
Truth is a person; that person speaks truth to us, and His spoken word heals us. The Bible describes the wonderful work of God in many ways: God saves, God rescues, God ransoms, God heals, God cures, and God reconciles. Jesus said it this way: “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Truth prevails because God‘s people choose to live in the light of God‘s truth. Living in the light sets us free to love the light and hate the darkness. It also motivates us to shine the light into the darkness to set others free to walk in the light. When we live in the truth, we understand that the pain of exposure to the light is a good pain designed by God to burn away pits of darkness and turn us into children of light. “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.“
Reading the Bible is not like reading fairytales that all have happy endings.
Abraham lied about his wife - twice - to save his own skin. Jacob deceived his father to steal his brothers birthright. Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery and then faked his death to fool their father. Moses killed an Egyptian and then fled into the desert, where he lived in exile for 40 years. David was an adulterer who schemed to kill a woman’s husband. Then there was Solomon, with his 700 wives and 300 concubines. It would take too many pages to describe him… In the New Testament, James and John jockeyed for power and position among the disciples and wanted to call down lightning from heaven to destroy a village that shunned Jesus. Peter at one point denied he even knew Jesus and years later got into an ugly spat with Paul.
God is willing to tell the truth about our human feelings.
God wants us to tell the truth, as well. To live in alignment with His Word which reveals and makes plain His Way. There are too many times in life when we choose to go our own way and live in darkness. We embrace false narratives in how we live. We choose to listen to voices, opinions, and headlines that defy God’s Word. We rally against things that are untrue simply because we have heard it spoken enough times to believe that they are valid. The loudest voice wins in many cases and we fall prey to become another victim that has been deceived.
He also had a story of his own to tell – about atonement, forgiveness, and reconciliation.
The more that we can live out the truth of His Word in the world around us the more we will see ourselves and others experience His story of atonement, forgiveness, and reconciliation. The more we strive to live as agents of the light the less darkness we will see in our world. There is a hope-filled story awaiting every living and breathing person on this earth. May we be catalysts for a truth-telling culture and consistent in the truth that we live.
In what ways has the culture we live within shaped you more than the Word of God?
What areas of your life are less than the truth?
How can you better bring yourself into alignment with God’s Word?