God Shows us the Truth
Have you heard about the latest craze? It is called “truthiness.” Everyone is doing it. You see, you start with something that is true and then twist it to include other facts that may or may not be true. Wikipedia puts it this way: “Truthiness is the belief or assertion that a particular statement is true based on the intuition or perceptions of some individual or individuals, without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts.” This craze is terribly helpful when we are trying to persuade others to join our team, get out of responsibility for our actions, rationalize our bad choices, or find fault with someone we can’t abide. But, at its roots, truthiness is just a pretty way of saying that we are lying.
For those of us who yearn for the truth, truthiness is irritating. Not only is the media busy telling us half truths, but friends and relatives have gotten into the act as well. The phrase “let me be perfectly honest with you” implies that normally we speak in half truths. In fact, we have to make a real effort to be totally honest. When we look at Jesus encountering the Pharisees, we can begin to understand the challenge in confronting truthiness. Whether He is responding to their questions concerning paying taxes to Caesar or meeting your seven husbands in heaven, Jesus always goes straight to the root of the problem. If we want to silence the Pharisees in our life, we cannot play their game. Simply confront them with the real meaning of their question. We need wisdom, courage, and much humility to put aside self and speak the truth.
Being surrounded by people practicing truthiness creates chaos. We don’t know whom to trust. We begin to question everyone. The prince of lies loves all this confusion. Time-honored opinion polls curve the results to support their agenda. Airlines cancel flights because they are not full and tell us that the crew is not available. Your sister-in-law tells you that she can’t make the baby shower next month because she has a funeral. There is only one solution: we must check what we hear and read with resources that verify the facts. When the data is not backed up with verifiable data, disregard it. Now, this is a lot of work, so choose your battles wisely, and as my Dad used to say, “Don’t believe anything you hear and only half of what your see!”
But even worse than what is going on in the outside world, is the presence of truthiness in our own hearts. We can convince ourselves of just about anything. In denying the truth of our situation, we are keeping ourselves from redeeming the problem. When young adults believe that it is not wrong as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone and they don’t get caught, they never learn the difference between right and wrong. When we believe that, “One drink won’t hurt,” we are doomed to addiction. There are serious consequences to lying to ourselves. The pattern of creating our own reality leads us away from the light and into a darkness that breeds sin and discontent.
How easy it is in these days of so much turmoil to say, “If only people were honest with themselves and others.” The darkness in our world makes Psalm 4:7 resonate in our souls: “Oh that we may see better times! O Lord, let the light of your countenance shine upon us.” What gives us hope is that the psalmist doesn’t stop at the first sentence. The solution to truthiness is God’s light. The One who is Eternal Light can and will bring peace and truth and well-being to all of us. We have a divine radiant light that can show us the way out of the darkness of the lies. Let us walk into the light and allow God guide our thought, speech, and actions.