November 25, 2011

Spiritual Disciplines XXXIX: Truth

Every Knee Shall Bow
Gaye Frances Willard

This post sort of has a Christmas spin on it to help get you in the mood for the coming celebration of Jesus' birth.

Living Truth To The Glory of God

I learned a long time ago that there is no room for lying and deceit in a relationship. I learned it either vicariously through watching others get burned or I myself got burned. Having been betrayed like this made me not want to do it to other people because I know how much it hurt and how damaging it was to me and to others. Only rotten people without a conscience can continually lie to others. Most of my good close relationships I have with others are based in trust and that trust is based in reciprocal truth. One place truth has been especially beneficial was in my relationship with my wife. I made and oath to God that I would always tell this woman the truth and it laid the foundation and groundwork for a marriage of ten years and as of this year and I pray the marriage continues. Perfect? Show me someone’s marriage that is. I would not trade the relationship with my wife for anything of this world. I figure the only thing that comes between her and I is God and that is the way it should be as God is not a divider, He is a unifier and unites. The other truthful God glorifying relationship I have is with my children. I must try to teach honesty by example to my kids and that teaching comes by showing that I am an honest, honorable and upright man just as my father was before me. I really do represent my father and my Father in this instance. To show God to my kids, my wife and all others that see me in my life, I need to reflect the one that I try to live like, the one the dwells in me. Otherwise I serve as only a bad example and to me that is no example at all. There are plenty of bad examples in this world and I care not to be counted among them.

A Sliding Scale of Truth & Why We Do It

Now I need to completely contradict what I just said (sort of). I must also say that there are times I do not tell full truths. Most often this is when I discuss some of the more tragic or violent things this fallen world has to expose my children to. I call it rounding edges so they are not so pointy for the young minds of my two sons. Yes, Jesus was scourged, beaten mercilessly, spit upon, crucified and died. Other than the: “He died, was buried and rose again on the third day” part, my 5 year old and even my 8 year old do not need to know the explicit and gory details of the Lord’s mistrial and death yet. The brutality, violence and generally evil nature of mankind will become brutally evident much faster than even I would like soon enough for my boys. Children need to be able to live as children. Need we rush them to the brutal facts immediately to get them to believe in Jesus? The Gospel is God having sent His Son, the Messiah who died according to the prophecy of the Bible, was buried and rose again the third day according to Scripture. Eventually, they will be told the exacting and unadulterated truth of the Bible’s explicit details as they mature. They are literally new believers though, as such they are literally babes drinking the milk of the Gospel, not meat. Just as we would expect of new believers that are adults, they need time to acclimate and adjust, not have this tragedy of a fallen world force-fed down their throats.

Veiled Truths: Protection or Deception

Lack of honesty destroys lives. True honesty can build lives up. There is a thin line between lying and withholding information to protect others from further harm. At times this line is indistinguishable. I prefer to always lean towards honesty at all cost. If people keep pushing eventually I will give in and tell them the things that they probably didn’t need to hear but not where it will jeopardize the relationship. If we did not live in a fallen world things wouldn’t need withholding or disguised or couched wordage but we do live in a messed up sinful world and discretion is advised in delicate situations, especially with children or those that have childlike minds. If we admit the truth, we will all admit we round edges to some extent. As Christians we will not allow our children to view shows with sexual content until they are older. They are forbidden from playing violent video games and the like. Why? We are protecting them from the truth of the way the world really is. Is it right or wrong? I suggest you take this up with God in your situation. I have and my conscience tells me to protect my sons while they are very young and gradually expose them to it as needed.

The Santa Claus Moment

Everyone has their Santa Claus moment. The moment when they had been protecting someone by not telling the full truth or, as in the case of Santa Claus, allowing kids to be kids to some extent and it comes in a backlash of emotion or frustration. We hid full truths because we thought it would be best for the person we did it to and we suffer the repercussion of a person that has been deceived. Like I said before, the world is fallen and things are no longer cut-n-dry. We are often stuck between a rock and hard place. Often this “squeeze” between the two is or our own making too. It is in these times that we should've been taking this stuff to the Lord the whole time. My guess is that Jesus would’ve told the truth no matter what. We see in the Gospels that this is exactly the case. Even after Jesus turned towards intensive discipleship with the 12 on his walk towards His death in Jerusalem we see him telling the truth. Although we see a change in the way He tells it. He switches primarily to parables and metaphor. Why?

Jesus said to them, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. This is why I speak to them in parables… Matthew 13:10-13

The premise behind Jesus’ statement here is that more people know of God and the Kingdom the more they will be held accountable for. Jesus knowing that, the more those that didn’t believe heard, the more condemned they would become. Hence we see the parables to protect them from their own sinful and reprobate natures. Jesus told the truth regardless but due to their own blindness of truth, the truth meant nothing to them when it came in “word pictures” or parables. The more our children know the more they will be expected to respond to Gospel. This comes with time and maturity.

Yes, there is an real-life type of Santa Claus and His name isn't Santa, it is Jesus and He gave an undeserved gift...

Jesus Christ...and the gift He gives isn't necessarily for here in this current world either although we see some of its effects now as the Kingdom has come in part but is not fully here yet. It is a gift vastly more valuable than any oversized bulbous elf will ever produce out of our imagination anyway. It is a gift given out of grace and it is given through faith. In this one case our mental shortcomings as finite beings limit the possibilities of what is possible. Thank you, but no...I'll pass on Santa and take Jesus in this instance. I'll take The Truth on this one because this Truth is the basis for eternal life.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

If Santa is real he can only give me things of this world and the things of this world are passing away but the things of Jesus Christ are eternal. Even Santa would be smart enough to know that... ;)

The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. 1 John 2:17

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...