The concept of truth has become under attach in recent years. It used to be entertaining when you would watch a sitcom where the whole premise was to spend the half hour covering up a lie. It was comical and harmless. How times have changed. We no longer endure dishonesty in sitcoms alone but we’ve come to accept lies in real life – from friends, family, and even from our leaders.
It’s a sad narrative that when a politician speaks, it has become necessary to “fact-check” his words simply because it has become so common that half-truths or even un-truths are spoken without blinking.
Growing up we read stories like “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” “Goerge Washington and the Cherry Tree,” and the Pied Piper of Hamelin” training us in the value of speaking the truth. We watched movies like “Pinocchio” that showed us the consequences of lying. “The Emporor has No Clothes” is classic literature about how much more noble a child is in being honest veses an entire town who cloak the truth.
Truth is the backbone of society. Without truth, anyone’s opinion can be passed off as truth. Truth is important to community. Truth is vital to family. When the truth is washed away, lines are blurred. Guard rails are broken down.
Did you ever get in trouble for doing something when you were a kid? You knew you were guilty. Your parents knew it. And then they ask for a confession. And remember what they said? “I would rather you tell me the truth than lie about what you did” They also said, “Your punishment will be greater if you lie to me than if you just own up to what you did.” Why did they say that? Because they wanted to teach you how valuable telling the truth is. They wanted honesty to be part of your character. Of course this character comes straight out of the person of Jesus.
Jesus said in John 14:6 “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” Understanding that Jesus is the way to God and the giver of eternal life makes sense. But what does it mean that “Jesus is the truth?” How can a person BE a principle? This metaphor takes some work to wrap our brains around. When Jesus says He is the truth, he is saying: My words are truth. My works are truth. My plans are truth. My motives are truth. Everything about Jesus is truth. There is no deceitfulness, deception, or lies connected with Him. Jesus can be fully trusted.
Where does that leave us today? Still striving for truth. Defending the truth. Sharing the truth. And may this be our prayer from Solomon in Proverbs 30:8. “Keep falsehood and lies far from me.”