5 min read
“The Truth Shall Set You Free”
What is one supposed to believe when everybody’s story is different, yet everyone is claiming the truth? This conundrum proves even more difficult when we don’t take time to share our viewpoints with our friends and loved ones on any particular subject; let alone how we came to know and understand our truth.
If I tell you a story and I proclaim it’s true, how do you know for sure? Perhaps it’s not that easy to decipher.
Do we believe with our eyes, ears, or our feelings? Do we believe what another person tells us because it rings true or because we know that person to be trustworthy and of the highest integrity? Do we embellish our stories because it makes them more interesting; or do we leave out important details to slant the information to match our belief system and convince others of the same?
In John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.”
And in Proverbs 12:22 “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord…”
I ask again, how can we know the truth when everyone is telling a different story?
In reporting the truth, I have often used the scene of an automobile accident as an example. Two cars collide and subsequently, eyewitnesses attempt to recount the accident scene.
First, each witness may have seen the automobiles coming from a different direction. (I call this perspective). Second, each witness has their own history relating to driving, and this may play into their story. Such as “I hate it when someone cuts me off in traffic.” (I call this historical reference).
And finally, each eyewitness may have been focusing on different aspects of the two cars that collided; one may have been watching the traffic light, while another may have zeroed in on the types of vehicles or the drivers themselves. (I call this visual or sensory cues).
The point I am making is that somewhere in the eyewitness accounts lies the truth of the matter. Similar to a puzzle, where each person has a puzzle piece yet until they come together and find out how it fits together, the truth or real picture is incomplete.
Reading the four Gospels one can see how easily this happens. Each account of Jesus’ story is similar yet different. There have been many theological studies on these Gospels comparing each disciple who walked with Jesus. Each story is told from their historical and personal perspective. It’s not until you read all four Gospels that you start to see the complete picture of Jesus’s ministry.
Ephesians 4:25, “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.”
This passage from Ephesians explains that we are members of one another; one body in Christ. Our solemn duty to God is to speak the truth in love, to one another, so that the pieces of truth can come together to form the bigger beautiful picture that represents the kingdom of God, which is love.
1 John 4:8 “Anyone who does not love, does not know God, because God is love!”
Since the onset of the internet, I have known that these pieces of “truth” could someday be problematic when separated by human discord and propaganda. Like the fragmented puzzle, we are not whole, until we come together and listen to one another. No one person, entity, or news media has a monopoly on the truth.
In today’s climate of misinformation, outright lies, half-truths, or omitted truths, it is very difficult to decipher what is actual and real. We can however surmise (with wisdom) that not one person has exclusive rights to the truth. We all have our piece of the truth that when shared with love and respect will create a larger vision of truth that may be a more accurate picture and more helpful in solving problems. To do this, we must talk to one another, not with contempt, but with love and respect, no matter how different our viewpoints.
And what happens if you mix truths with lies?
There is an old game we used to play as an icebreaker for a party. You may well know it. It’s called two truths and a lie. Where each person tells two truthful things and one lie, and everyone has to guess which one is the lie. It’s a very fun game. This game of deception, however, can be dangerous if it is used in real life to convince someone that a lie is actually a truth.
Equally dangerous, repeated misinformation is actually a type of neuro linguistic programming. It is often used in commercials to hypnotize us into believing a product will make us happier, healthier, or more desirable. In the culture of the twenty-four-hour news cycle, information that is repeated over and over again hypnotizes us into believing something is true whether it is or not.
Psalm 101:7 “No one who practices deceit shall dwell in my house; no one who utters lies shall continue before my eyes.”
The one truth that lives in the heart of every human, whether acknowledged or not, is the truth of love. We are made in God’s image and that image is love because God is love. When we choose to demonstrate the values of our heart rather than our ego, we find a place of peace and harmony within ourselves, our neighbor, and our community. When we share and accept our differences with love, we often find common ground where we thought there was none. By setting aside our differences, we find that our neighbor wants to live a prosperous and peaceful life just as we do.
Let us learn to come together in love and find the ties that bind our hearts together as one body in the love of Christ!
I will leave you with two more Bible passages that speak to my heart.
Psalm 51:6 “Behold, you delight in the truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.”
Ephesians 4:15 “Rather, speaking truth in love we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ!”
May God bless you and keep you safe and protected!
Cathy Lynn Gregory