“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life.'”- John 14:6a (NIV)
I am amazed at all the new words and phrases we have in our political news to name a “lie”. “Alternative Facts”. “Incomplete information.” “Misrepresentation”. The list could go on. I can add other words like “half-truth”. It’s amazing the words we humans come up with to dodge the word “lie.” The fact that we like to dodge the word itself, tells us quite a bit about ourselves.
At dinner the other night, I was telling my teenager to eat some rice on his plate. I told him, “It tastes great!” After wrinkling up his nose at it, he looked at me with a wry smile and said, “Mom, that’s an alternative fact.” I couldn’t help but burst out laughing! I hadn’t meant it as a lie, but in his world, he found a place to use this new buzzword, and for his taste buds, “alternative fact” fit the bill. Truth becomes what you or I think for ourselves, not the actual reality. We stretch it, massage it, package it, and promote it. And that is kinda scary.
I grew up with honesty being a major value in my family. I have tried very hard my whole life to be truthful. But, I know I have fallen short at times. We like to have gray areas and levels of lies— little ones, half-truths, whoppers, etc… My favorite is from the sitcom Seinfeld, where the character George Costanza tells his friend Jerry–“It’s not a lie if you believe it.”
I find it challenging to find the truth these days. As I open the news I continually have to ask myself–“Is this a lie I am hearing or reading about?” “What is the truth?” “How do I know what or whom to trust?” That is when I have to turn to God. 1 Samuel 15:29 reminds us that “He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man, that he should change his mind.” God does not lie. God cannot lie as it is not in His character. God is truth, He can be trusted. Jesus reminds us that “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Jesus is truth because He is God. He tells us the truth. Thank goodness there is a truth I can cling to.
God knows our propensity as humans for deception, whether it’s half-truths or whoppers, or anything in between. From the beginning of time, we’ve deceived one another, ourselves, and God. It’s built into our human nature. And deception separates us from a holy God who is pure light and truth and enslaves us in darkness.
As we allow ourselves to be cleansed by the Holy Spirit, we will find truth a willing partner in our lives, we just have to confess our sin and ask for it. We will be guided by God’s truth, not the world’s truth. And in doing so, we can break free of the lies and darkness and find the rays of light and truth in our own lives.
Prayer- “God of Truth, I confess my sin and the reality that I deceive you, myself, and other people. I confess my untruthfulness. I ask that you will cleanse me from the lies of the world and the lies in my own heart, and renew me with your Spirit, who is Truth. Teach me to trust in you to find truth, not the world around me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”