Greetings precious people. In todayís article I would like to continue looking at issues that are having an impact on our society. Issues that are seldom addressed and often ignored in our media. Today we will look at truthfulness, as always we will look at this from a Biblical perspective.
Truthfulness according to Websterís Dictionary is telling the truth; presenting the facts; veracious; honest. At the heart of truthfulness is truth. The question of: "What is truth?" must be asked and answered if we are to understand what truthfulness is. There was a man in Jesusí day by the name of Pilate who asked this very question. In John 18:37-38, "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."
Unfortunately, Pilate chose to do that which many politicians do today, ignore the truth and go with what is popular. Pilate was not interested in the truth, only in what would make him look good and cause the least amount of problems. He found no fault in Jesus, yet in order to remain popular with the people, he had turned Him over to be scourged and crucified. All four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John give account of this. Look at the account given in the Gospel of Mark 15:6-15, "Now at the feast he was accustomed to releasing one prisoner to them, whomever they requested. And there was one named Barabbas, who was chained with his fellow rebels; they had committed murder in the rebellion. Then the multitude, crying aloud, began to ask him to do just as he had always done for them. But Pilate answered them, saying, "Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?" For he knew that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd, so that he should rather release Barabbas to them. Pilate answered and said to them again, "What then do you want me to do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?" So they cried out again, "Crucify Him!" Then Pilate said to them, "Why, what evil has He done?" But they cried out all the more, "Crucify Him!" So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified."
Little did Pilate know or care that in Jesus he had "The Truth" standing before him. Jesus is the epitome of truth. In John 14:6, "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." And in Deuteronomy 32:4, "He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He."
Like Pilate, we too are more interested in going with what is popular than truthfulness. So few people are willing to make a stand for the truth in our day. It is "easier" to go with the flow than be truthful. We excuse our lack of truthfulness with the popular philosophy of our day ĎRelativismí. This prevalent thinking tells us that truth is relative. Relative to your situation, how you feel and think, truth may differ from person to person. This in effect enables people to live a lie.
The lack of truthfulness is a real problem in our society today. It has become common place in every walk of life. Many government officials make it a habit to not be truthful. Much of our media is greatly lacking in the truthfulness department. The news media, when they do tell the truth, do so only in a way that benefits them and encourages people to think the way they want them to. Possibly one of the worst violators of not being truthful is the advertising industry. Much of the advertising industry is built upon deceit and lies. They attempt to make the general public believe we really "need" something that we really donít. That their product is the best, when in reality, there are a number of other products just as good as theirs.
The gambling industry is another that is full of untruth. They are constantly telling communities how much "good" they are doing and are a real asset to our society. While they give a few dollars here and there they fail to mention the number of lives and families that are ruined because of gambling. Likewise, people go to their establishments the day they get paid and spend their entire paycheck, leaving their families with no money to buy the proper food and other basic necessities. Businesses within the community often suffer financially, because the people of that community have lost it gambling. In working at one of the local service stations in Alpine, we get people coming in all the time asking for a few dollars in gas or willing to trade their watch or other jewelry for gas so they can get home. And there are of course the instances of those that have killed themselves after having gambled all their earnings away. Its much like the alcohol and tobacco industries telling us how much good they are doing for society by giving a few dollars to various charities.
Truthfulness is an important part of the make up of a personís character. Whether a person is truthful or not will give great indication of the type of character that person has. Our former president, Bill Clinton, made this statement during one of the presidential debates, "People are not interested in character, they are interested in results." Tragically he was right, for he was voted into office, and as we look back over his presidency, we see him lacking greatly in truthfulness.
We must understand something vital, truth is NOT relative, truth is NOT what you or I make it to be; truth is not something that can be changed to fit our circumstance or situation. There is absolute truth; it is Godís truth, which is found in Godís Word, the Bible. God commands and requires His people to be truthful, to live in truthfulness. Psalm 51:6, "Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts."
Godís people Israel had reached a point during the time of Jeremiah the Prophet where they had totally forsaken truthfulness. God had spoken to them on many occasions telling them to repent, but they would not. Look at the account given in Jeremiah 5:1; 3, "Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem; See now and know; And seek in her open places If you can find a man, If there is anyone who executes judgment, Who seeks the truth. O LORD, are not Your eyes on the truth? You have stricken them, But they have not grieved; You have consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction. They have made their faces harder than rock; They have refused to return." Jeremiah 7:28, "So you shall say to them, 'This is a nation that does not obey the voice of the LORD their God nor receive correction. Truth has perished and has been cut off from their mouth." Jeremiah 9:3,"And like their bow they have bent their tongues for lies.
They are not valiant for the truth on the earth. For they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know Me," says the LORD." Jeremiah 9:5-6, "Everyone will deceive his neighbor, and will not speak the truth; they have taught their tongue to speak lies; they weary themselves to commit iniquity. Your dwelling place is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know Me," says the LORD."
Truthfulness is essential for a person to have a relationship with God Almighty. Jesus made this clear as He spoke to a Samaritan woman in John 4:23-24, "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."
This can only happen through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, for He is Truth. In John 8:31-32; 36, "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. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."
Do you know the Truth? Do you know Jesus Christ the Lord personally today? You can, you must!
If you have any questions, comments, or prayer requests you can contact me at: Calvary Chapel of Alpine, P.O. Box 1528, Alpine, Ca. 91903 or call 619-445-2589, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Drew Macintyre is pastor of Calvary Chapel of Alpine