Today I must start with a confession. I confess – it has belatedly occurred to me that one cannot be a truthteller without first becoming a truthseeker. So my recent post, “truthtellers” really should have come after today’s post. One cannot tell the truth if one does not know the truth. This, itself, should be an obvious truth, but it is a truth that often gets lost in the din of noisy voices purporting to proclaim multiple truths.
Being a truthseeker is a lifelong pursuit. Separating fact from fantasy and fiction requires discernment and a dedication to pursue truth even when it would be easier to accept more pleasing, more plausible, more palatable explanations for the things we encounter in our lives. I’m thinking at one time in history, it was probably easier and more popular to believe that the sun was orbiting the earth, rather than to realize that it was we here on earth who had been orbiting the sun all along. We had not yet discovered this truth which would eventually replace our old, false understanding of how things worked in the universe.
Seems to me, there was a time when people believed the earth was flat. Eventually the truth of earth’s spherical shape and Newton’s discovery of gravity changed that false perception. I remember preferring the fiction of the tooth fairy and of Santa Clause to the truth behind those false fantasies. It wasn’t that the truth was hard or painful, the fantasies were just more fun.
But sometimes truth is hard to face or even to acknowledge. It is simply easier to believe the lie. It is easier to live as if the lie is truth. We do this in many ways. It is easy to believe that someone else is to blame for our problems or our lot in life. It is more painful and requires more time and effort to look at our own choices and contributions to our life and to change them if we desire a different outcome than we have at present. That is just too hard. Being a victim is easier than becoming an overcomer. Overcoming circumstances and realities that we all face in different degrees, at different times and in different ways requires a commitment and effort that we may not be willing to give.
Why do lies come so easily and the truth so hard? Genesis 6:5 tells us something about our human nature saying,
“The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.”
Now that’s a hard truth to face about myself. I’d rather believe the lie that I’m basically good as I am. That way, I don’t need to change a thing. That would be much easier, if you ask me. But then I read in Jeremiah 17:9 these words,
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
Ok, so it’s getting a little harder to believe the lie that I’m basically good as I am, I don’t need a heart change, I don’t need a Savior. (only sinners need saviors, right?) Then I read in Romans 3:23 & 10-14,
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, . . . There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
If I needed further convincing of what is true about me, Isaiah 53:6 adds confirmation saying,
“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way;”
So I do need a Savior, someone who can change or clean up my messed up, evil heart. That must be why King David cried out in Psalm 51:10-12,
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.”
When David faced the truth about himself he said to God,
“Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Surely You desire truth in the inner parts; You teach me wisdom in the inmost place.” (Psalm 51:5-6)
When I know the truth, I am set free to follow where it leads me. Better than following my heart, which, as I have learned from God’s word, is deceitful and desperately wicked. When I consider the consequences of living my life without seeking truth from God’s word, this admonition from Proverbs 14:12 comes to mind,
“There is a way that seems right to a man (me) but in the end it leads to death.”
Lies lead to death – truth to life. Jesus said this about Himself in John 14:6,
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Jesus is truth. Jesus is life. In contrast, this is how Jesus describes Satan in John 8:44,
“He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
Eve experienced this truth of who Satan is when she encountered him in the garden. She believed his lie rather than the truth of God and to this day we live our lives on this same battlefield, suspended between truth and lies, waging war, wondering and wandering, while waiting for light to overcome darkness, good to triumph over evil and truth to expose and thus render powerless all the lies of the enemy.
Until that time, we are held captive by any lies that we choose to believe. Only the truth can free us from the bondage of believing the lie. Eve (and Adam) were free until they believed the serpent’s lie and acted accordingly. They neglected to seek the truth. Why should I be a truthseeker? Because Jesus said,
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)
We see this same connection between lies ensnaring people and endangering their lives when Paul writes about it in his letter to the Thessalonians warning them saying,
“The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)
How sad! “they refused to love the truth.” (no wonder truthtellers are hard to find, truthseekers are in short supply – nobody loves or wants to know the truth anymore) Evil deceives people, getting them to believe the lie (like Eve) and they perish. Truth saves. Truth sanctifies. Truthseekers love the truth and will pursue it at all costs. Then they will know the truth and the truth will set them free. Interesting progression in the life of a truthseeker. I am to seek the truth, find the truth, learn or know the truth and through this process I am set free to proclaim the truth – free to be a truthteller.
But first I have to seek the truth. Jeremiah 33:2-3 tells me,
“This is what the Lord says, He who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it – the Lord is His name: ‘Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ ”
“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth.” (John 16:13)
Heavenly Father guide me on my truthseeker’s journey. Turn me into a truthteller for Your glory.
sincerely, Grace Day