“I’ve heard it both ways!” – This is a very common saying that I blurt out when people call me out on the many grammar and speaking mistakes that I make. But down to the root of the statement is something a little darker. Have I actually hard it both ways, or am I telling a fib?
Which one of the following “grey” areas do you think is not telling the truth? A fib; a misrepresentation; a misstatement; a whopper; a fish tale; a half truth; a white lie; an omission of details? Think you know the answer?
Telling the truth doesn’t mean we hit the highlights of the source material and then let the rest fall to the wayside. When we tell the truth it means that we tell all the facts and that we don’t leave out the details that could get us in trouble. Society tries to persuade us that leaving out certain details will keep us safe. God, on the other hand, encourages us to be people honesty and integrity, no matter what is in question.
It is almost as if when Jesus came to us and told us half of his message. “You must love your brothers, but not your enemies.” It just doesn’t make sense! Speaking of Jesus…
In this week’s Bible Lesson, Jesus was seen walking the streets of Jerusalem. Spotting a well-known beggar and blind man, he healed him on the spot, although doing so in a odd way. Obviously the man was ecstatic, being blind from birth. Could you imagine missing one of your senses for your whole life, then in one instant recovering receiving that ability? I am totally sure he went bat-crazy and partied like it was 1999. He wanted everyone to know! I could probably imagine that he told everyone he knew – I am sure he even gave a shout out to that grandmother you never want to call.
But with every happy story, there are problems. One less-well-known fact about this story was that Jesus was not a very liked guy around this time. In fact, a chapter earlier he spent some time in hiding because what he was preaching in the temple at Jerusalem was considered blasphemy against “Abraham’s God” or the Jew’s beliefs.
Not only that, but Jesus was all about preaching people out of their shoes and saving them from the sins of the world and the deceit of the Pharisees – something the Pharisees were not happy about. The Pharisees were itching for something to pin onto Jesus and this was just the thing. At this time in history, the Jews were very protective of the Sabbath day. They shunned and stoned anyone who disrespected this day.
Yet the day that Jesus did this miracle of God just so happened to be on the Sabbath day. They called the once-blind man to the synagogue and questioned him. The man told the truth even though he knew that Pharisees would be angry about it. He told the truth even though he might get thrown out of the synagogue, or worse, stoned.
The truth did get this man thrown out of the synagogue and, it may have caused the man to lose some friends. But the truth also set him free! Upon hearing what happened to the man, Jesus went to find him. He told the man who he was and when the man heard this he believed in Jesus and worshiped Him, receiving freedom from the bondage of sin! Telling the truth is not always easy. Telling the truth could get you in trouble. But telling the truth will always set you free!
Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32 (NLT)
Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your truth! Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor you. Psalm 86:11 (NLT)