John 8:31-32 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
The truth will set you free. Such a simple thought.
There was a time in my life when I was completely trapped and ensnared by lies. When I didn’t know what to believe because there was such a web of deceit around me. It was horrible. Truth, however difficult to hear is always preferable than being fed a lie. Pacifying with untruth only delays the difficult conversation. Trying to bury the facts in a mound of misdirection and confusion just makes the truth harder to uncover – it doesn’t change that it is in fact the truth.
Sometimes it seems easier to pretend that things are alright instead of dealing head on with problems. But that’s just another form of lying. Hiding behind a smile, a friendly hello or “just getting along” rather than admitting when there’s an issue only gives the problem power. Power to make you uncomfortable, uneasy, unsettled. It’s difficult to be yourself when there’s an underlying feeling that the smile on the other side of the relationship is a big farce. When truth isn’t allowed, when there isn’t honesty – it’s all just bondage. Slavery. Servitude. Relationships become prisons of obligation without truth.
I don’t want that. I don’t want it for myself, my family or my friends. I’m ok if the truth hurts. I know I can be loud, opinionated and overwhelming. Occasionally (or a whole lot) – my brain-to-mouth filter just completely fails me. I know that there are some people who are just too different to really be friends. And that’s ok. Not being my best buddy doesn’t mean that I can’t respect you and honor your place in my life. Exactly the opposite really. Being truthful about expectations frees people in relationships to just be who they are. No strings. No requirements. It’s freedom and release. It’s wonderful. I just want to know where I stand. That’s all. If it’s on the bottom rung of people you want to hang out with, that’s fine by me. As long as I know, I can deal with that.
Freedom in Christ tells me who I am in Him. The knowledge that God loves me sets me free to let go of any expectations from others. The truth isn’t relative. It’s not ever-changing. It’s not malleable or dependent on circumstances. It just is. Truth. I know that’s not a popular opinion these days. It’s too black and white, too unforgiving. People don’t like it. Sometimes I don’t like it either. It would be a lot more convenient for me to take the truth of God’s word with a grain of salt occasionally. To pretend like He didn’t really mean that part for my exact situation. Then I could act out in my own truth. Do what I think is best even if it doesn’t exactly line up with God’s word. But then, it wouldn’t be truth anymore. It would just be an option. An option that would lead to bondage. It may not be the popular route, but I’ll take the hard freedom of God’s truth over the easily digestible slavery of sin. Thanks just the same.