Can you face the truth?
I recently received a note requiring me to complete a physical—a gentle reminder of a looming age milestone. Immediately my thoughts raced. Could this be true of this “young” man who used to perform reggae for hours, play soccer until darkness fell, and regularly skip down the hallways at work? Had I reached a stage where a physical was not an option but a necessity? Fear began to mount. Yes! The guy who lives by the motto of “don’t worry, be happy” was suddenly paralyzed by fear of not wanting to face the truth about a few years of haphazard physical workout.
Dorothy Thompson says: “There is nothing to fear except the persistent refusal to find out the truth.”1 Not facing the truth is a major reason why people fail to meet goals or correct a negative situation. The very notion that you can appreciate or articulate truth does not mean that you apply or accept it. It was Richard Nixon who said, “Let us begin by committing ourselves to the truth, to see it like it is and to tell it like it is, to find the truth, to speak the truth and live with the truth.”2 History proved otherwise!
When Jesus appeared before Pilate, he claimed to bear witness to the truth. In response, Pilate raised the perpetual question: “What is truth?” (John 18:37-38) Notice—Pilate did not wait for an answer. He knew that “Truth” would stand up to any scrutiny, so he chose to turn away from the “Spirit of truth” (John 14:17), which the world cannot accept because it neither sees him nor knows him. We cannot run away from truth. When we stand beside Jesus, truth and light will shine into our lives.
Ephesians 6:14 observes that if we are to handle life as God intends, we must stand firm and buckle on “the belt of truth.” Each day we strive for “the truth and nothing but the truth,” yet our experience does not reflect our desire. It seems that it is only when we are traumatized by adversity that our quest for truth becomes authentic. Luke 23:39-43 tells of a man crucified with Jesus who literally faced the “Truth” (John 14:6) and acknowledged the folly of his own ways.
Can you face the truth about yourself? Will today be your day to scan your life, see truth for what it is, and cry out to God so that you can be set free and know the love, peace and beauty that God has reserved for you? Hiding from your true self only sets you up for disappointment and grief.
Can you face the truth about your relationships? One of the absolute truths in life is that we are social beings. Yet our relationships are not always healthy or pure. Imagine the encouraging results that might occur when the truth is unwrapped. Will facing the truth set you free?
Can you face the truth about God’s plan for your life? Only when you face the truth can there be freedom in Christ. Only when you face the truth can there be “healing for your sorrow, healing for your pain, healing for your spirit and shelter from the rain.” 3
Herbert Agar says, “The truth that makes men free is for the most part the truth which men prefer not to hear.”4 Facing the truth may cause hurt and bring unpleasant or uncomfortable feelings, but it is the best tonic for the human soul. Jesus said in John 8:32, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” The pain of facing the truth is transitory—yet priceless—well worth the joy of the awesome liberty it brings. Facing the truth is always exciting.
Enjoy life to the brim! Discover truth, walk in truth, speak the truth and accept Jesus as the ultimate source of truth. Do you have the strength and courage to do it?
So, my doctor’s appointment has been scheduled.
1 Thompson, Dorothy, retrieved from https://www.quotemeonit.com/thompsond.html
2 Nixon, Richard, Presidential nomination acceptance speech, Republican Convention (August 8, 1968)
3 Smallwood, Richard, Healing: Live in Detroit [LIVE], Audio CD, 1999
4 Agar, Herbert, A Time for Greatness, Little, Brown (1945)