You know that famous line from the one movie, “You can’t handle the truth!”
You do remember it?
Of course, you do!
Can I tell you something? For the movie it was a great line, but in reality, it is a great lie. The truth, you can handle it. Not only can you handle the truth, you need the truth. You need the truth to live life as it is meant to be lived. You need the truth to enjoy your everyday activities. The truth brings freedom.
How tied up did you feel when you got caught up in that lie?
How bound up were your thoughts when you knew you were not told the whole story?
How confused were you when you tried to figure something out, only to discover you had been misled?
Lies are like ropes tied around us that gradually get tighter and tighter until we can no longer move or breathe. They steal life from us.
But we are not here to talk about lies. We are here to talk about the truth.
Here are three things you need to know about the truth.
Truth is powerful…
Truth has the power to set you free. We’ve all heard the Bible verse that says, “…and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). Truth has the power to free you from all that has you bound up.
Remember how scared you might have been lying in your bed at night, fearing the monster under your bed? You laid there tied up under your covers because you believed a lie. A lie that you told yourself (maybe a mean older sibling told you). When you discovered the truth, how free did you feel?
Remember when you first attempted to ride a bike? I am sure you were a lot like my kids. I put them on the bike, and they were so excited. I began to push them as they pedaled. As soon as I stopped pushing, they stopped pedaling. As they stopped pedaling, they fell down. The next words out of there mouths was a lie. They spoke a four-word lie that would tie them up. They said, “I can’t do this.” The truth…they could do it! It would take practice and many failures, but they could do it. When they kept trying, they came to discover the truth that they could do it. Do you remember how free you felt when you rode down the street on your bike for the first time? The truth is powerful, it is freeing.
Truth is beautiful…
I know you have probably heard of a thing called the ugly truth. Well, that is a lie. There is nothing ugly about the truth. I understand why people have said that the truth can be ugly. They are simply referring to how hard the truth is sometimes. But the truth is only hard or ugly because lies seem so pretty. Lies are all dressed up as a convenient way of escape. Good thing for you that you already know lies bind you. They do not offer a way out.
The truth is beautiful. However, is it a beauty, much like the beauty of the ugly duckling. You remember the story of the Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Anderson? If you do, you will well remember the beauty that is finally seen as the ugly duck grows into a beautiful swan. Spoiler alert! It was never a duck. Nor was it ever ugly. It simply stood in contrast to the raft of ducklings.
Truth stands in stark contrast to a lie. When one takes the time to realize the truth, and what it brings, the beauty of it shines.
Consider some lies that we have been told. There was a time when black people where deemed to be less than human, perhaps a step along the evolutionary line. A lie that many believed. Now consider the truth. All people, no matter the color, are created in the image of God. Black or brown, just like white people, are all equal as they bear the image of the Creator. Isn’t that truth beautiful?
Truth is Attainable…
We live in a world where lies are taught every day. The concept of truth is being wiped away because of feelings. So then, a plethora of lies are being presented to match how people are currently feeling. Whenever a lie is told, the lie has to continue to grow for it to remain somewhat believable. The longer the lie is told, the more accepted it becomes, and the harder it becomes for people to accept the truth.
No matter the lie that has been told, the truth can be attained. It is not always easy to get to, but it can be obtained. But the truth will only be attained by those who are willing to uncover it. It requires a willingness to see that truth is not relative. It is not subjective. It is a concrete matter. Something that has already been determined. Truth, unlike lies, never changes. If it was true yesterday, it will be true today and tomorrow.
Truth is attainable because it does not change. The unchanging nature of truth is precisely why it is a truth. Finding the truth or attaining the truth is a matter for the diligent. Discovering the truth requires hard work. Discovering the truth is challenging, but it can be found. C.S. Lewis said, “If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.”
About finding the truth, Lewis later wrote, in His book The Great Divorce, “I will bring you where you can taste it like honey and be embraced by it as by a bridegroom. Your thirst shall be quenched.” We live in thirsty times, and we are drinking from a source (lies) that cannot satisfy. Only truth can satsify and truth can be found if we are willing to look to the source of truth and accept it regardless of our feelings.
How much do you desire the truth?
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father” John 8:31-38.