Telling the Truth
Lies. Money. Preachers. Politicians. Fathers. Sons. The drama surrounding North Carolina’s ninth congressional district is so bewildering and mesmerizing that Hollywood would be hard pressed to write such a story as this (In case you’re unaware of what I’m talking about, take a few minutes to read this thorough recap from The New Yorker).
Regardless of what your political affiliation may be, it’s clear to most people that something fishy happened during the November election. And it was fishy enough for the nonpartisan North Carolina State Board of Elections to unanimously call for a new congressional race after investigating a, “coordinated, unlawful, and substantially resourced absentee ballot scheme” which tainted the outcome of the congressional race between Republican Mark Harris and Democrat Dan McCready.
Until criminal investigators have a chance to complete their work, I’ll reserve any judgment regarding who’s ultimately to blame for this unlawful activity. But if you happened to be following the developments of last week’s hearing, it’s clear that one of the largest issues at play was the inability of many witnesses to tell the truth. Throughout the week, investigators kept pointing out contradictions between testimonies, interviews, and evidence. While a clearer picture of what happened emerged by week’s end, that picture is still muddy thanks to the inability of many to tell the truth.
For Christians navigating the era of #metoo and “fake news,” the importance of telling the truth has never been greater. That’s because if we stake our faith on the life-altering truth that Christ is Lord, and yet, we continue to believe and spread untruthful things, then our testimony is shattered.
If someone can’t believe the things you say about one thing, then how can they trust the things you say about God?
Regardless of how our culture at large treats the truth at present, we need to follow Jesus’ example and be truth tellers like Him. Instead of bending the truth to fit your needs, you need to “…let your ‘yes’ mean ‘yes,’ and your ‘no,’ mean ‘no’” (Matthew 5:37).
Of course, that’s easier said than done. But if we’re serious about following Jesus, then we cannot disregard His words of encouragement (and warning) as it relates to telling the truth. After all, if we choose to lie, the truth will still come out eventually. As Jesus says over in Luke 8:17, “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.”
Jesus risked everything to tell us the truth about Himself when He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). And because He did, this world received the promise of everlasting hope, peace, joy, and love that’s found through Him alone.
When we walk in the way of Jesus, our truth telling points people to that ultimate truth about who Jesus is and why He loves us. But when we don’t, our lying lips are an abomination to the Lord (Proverbs 12:22), causing what we say and believe to be called into question at every turn.
For the sake of Christ and His Kingdom, commit yourself to telling the truth, even when it’s difficult. As seductive as a lie might be, it will not bring you meaning and purpose. It will not rescue you from suffering and sin. There’s only one thing that’ll set us free, and according to Jesus it’s this: “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).