and hope for a future blessed,
begin in the place where Truth resides.
Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name. – Psalm 86:11
The Psalmist asks God for a heart that is loyal to Him.
Facing what’s real, what’s true…
Not living in a world of make-believe…
Choosing to operate within the realm of what exists by God’s design…
If you tell me something that’s not true, and I base a thought, a response, an action or a decision upon it, I’m building on a shell, a castle of sand, a house of cards—not on reality but on something fabricated to look like reality. A step in the wrong direction or a strong wind knocks the fantasy flat.
I am left holding nothing.
Don’t lie to me. Please.
Lies are like termites, eating away at the inner substance of our lives. Outwardly everything appears fine, but destruction hovers not far away.
I am disgusted when my response is what I despise in someone else… when my first thought is negative or critical, rather than uplifting… when words from these lips reverberate harshly on my ears, when I move forward or speak or condemn before seeking wisdom from above. It is in these instances when I am reminded of my own short-comings. Being honest enough to recognize my evil tendencies should prompt me to cry out for God’s help in overcoming the flesh.
God is not displeased when I lovingly point out another’s failings, as long as my spirit willingly receives correction from His Spirit and from others as often as necessary. We must reach out to help each other stay on course. Too easily we veer off without knowing it. If I’m straying, tell me.
Self-deception is the worst kind.
Satan, the unseen enemy, is more subtle than any other, and often uses our own propensity toward sin to destroy us. Not in raising a hand against us as he did with Job, but by whispering proud words of selfish ambition or suggesting the justification of wrong doing.
He has observed humanity since the beginning, and easily recognizes those who are weak. His hunger does not abate; his craving for power is never satisfied. Those doubting, fearful, anxious, half-hearted, self-absorbed, ungrateful, rebellious, and cynical are those he preys upon…
There is not a moment when he is not ready to pounce, to kill, to eat.
Be sober (serious-minded), be vigilant (on guard); because your adversary the devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith… – I Pet. 5:8-9
For many of us lying was the first and most primitive activity we pursued, whether as siblings, on the playground, or standing before a questioning adult. It has unfortunately become a skill too many of us are most adept at. After all, practice does make perfect, if not also permanent.
But no matter how ugly the truth is, God wants it. He knows the truth, and wants us to know and face the truth as well.
After the adulterous woman was caught and brought before the Messiah, and after her accusers slinked away, Jesus told her the truth:
Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more. – John 8:11
He called it sin, He assured her of forgiveness, and He gave the solution.
What He didn’t say was: I know, you’re not perfect.
What you did wasn’t that bad.
And anyone who gossips about you is guilty of worse.
What she had done was sinful. No, the Pharisees hadn’t handled the situation correctly. But Jesus dealt with that in His own masterful way. He pointed out her sin, forgave her, and gave her instructions as to how to live the rest of her life: Don’t do it again.
Because Christ’s forgiveness truly changed her, she walked away a new woman.
Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool. – Isaiah 1:18
Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life… – John 14:6
Life and truth are soul-mates. One does not survive without the other. Where lies are told, where pretense is lived, and where deception spreads, death permeates like an invisible, poisonous gas. But God gives His people the chance to choose life and to walk in light, leaving the hidden things of darkness behind us.
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. – I John 1:5-10
(Psalms photo courtesy of Dan Croft; Lion photo courtesy of Luca Galuzzi)