“Jolene! Jillian! Both of you come in here right now,” their father bellowed. The sisters had been playing in the front yard, but play had deteriorated into fighting, and Dad wanted to find out why, how, and who was to blame.
First, Jolene gave her version of the incident, blaming everything on Jillian. Then it was Jillian’s turn, and she made it sound like the whole situation was Jolene’s fault. As he listened, their father became more and more frustrated. Finally, he burst out, “I thought I had at least taught the two of you not to lie to me. One of you has to be lying!”
The girls’ aunt happened to have seen the incident through the living room window. “Excuse me,” she said as she stepped into the kitchen. “They aren’t really lying; they just aren’t telling the whole truth. Have Jolene finish the story all the way to the end, and have Jillian tell what happened before the part she told you.”
When each of the girls told the whole story from beginning to end, their accounts were almost identical. At first, each girl had told her sister’s transgressions and carefully skipped her own.
What is truth? That’s what Pilate asked Jesus, but it seems he didn’t wait for an answer. (See John 18:37-38.)
Truth does not reside in the carefully constructed, literally true sentences that lead the hearer to believe what is not true. When Sally’s doll vanished, her older sister very carefully said, “I didn’t take it.” Her brother said, “I don’t know where it is.” Real truth did not appear until their father caught on to their subterfuge and accused the brother of taking it and giving it to the sister to hide. Each child’s statement was factual but was designed to get their father to believe they had not been involved in the disappearance.
At various times, truth has been trampled underfoot by those who would rather believe a lie. When Paul wrote to the Romans, he warned them about those who claimed to be wise, but who were fools who would rather follow a lie than the truth of God. (See Romans 1:22-25.)
Those who are searching for the truth will find it in Jesus. As it says in John 1, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth,” (John 1:14 NKJV). Jesus, Himself said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me,” (John 14:6 NKJV).
We are entrapped by sin, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (See Romans 3:21-24.) But Jesus also promised, ““If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (See John 8:31-32.)
Paul urged the Ephesians, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor.” (See Ephesians 4:25.) There are some who may take such an admonition as an excuse to use truth as a club. They may say, “Well, I only told the truth. If it steps on her toes, that’s just too bad.” But Paul also said we should be “speaking the truth in love.” (See Ephesians 4:14-15.)
If we truly confess the truth in Jesus, we should also, “Walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma,” (Ephesians 5:2 NKJV).
Confess? Confess? How hard is a confession —
How easy vain excuses seem to be!
And yet I still desire absolution
And pray the Lord to set my spirit free.
Admit I’m wrong? Admit I have no power,
No strength to keep myself from sin and wrong?
How hard the choice, and yet I need God’s mercy,
God’s grace to be my hope, my joy, my song.
Salvation, love, and grace — my heart’s desire,
All mine to have, enjoy eternally.
But only I can choose to make confession
And thus, allow my God to set me free.
John 18:37-38 (NKJV) — Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?”
Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all.”
Romans 1:22-25 (NKJV) — Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
Romans 3:22-24 (NKJV) — But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
John 8:31-32 (NKJV) — Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Ephesians 4:25 (NKJV) — Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another.
Ephesians 4:14-15 (NKJV) — That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ.