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Monday, 3 January 2011

And that's the truth!

It was, undoubtedly, purely coincidental that, having watched a particular film on television this afternoon, I then read that the average adult in Britain, today, tells three lies daily!  (The response of some will almost certainly be, "What!  Only three??!").

The film was "Liar, Liar", and was based on the wish of a child that his lawyer father (divorced from his mother), who never kept the promises that he made to his son, would be unable to tell any untruths for the following 24 hours.  It certainly made for some amusing scenes - and made me wonder what my own life would be like if I was to be as (brutally) honest!

I suspect that most of us are less than absolutely honest in certain situations.  I'm not talking about the dishonesty that gives inaccurate information on an Income Tax Return form; or that lies about one's experience and qualifications when undergoing a job interview; or that doesn't tell the checkout operator, whom one has involved in conversation, that (s)he has just given one change from a £20 note, when one actually handed over a £10 note.  That sort of dishonesty is fraud, and is always wrong. 

Most of us, however, would claim that telling an untruth in order not to offend someone else, is acceptable.  If my wife asks me what I think about her new hair-style, I don't suppose that I will state, bluntly, that "It looks a mess" - even if that is what I think!  And when a small child accomplishes something that is actually very simple, would not most parents tell him/her what a clever child they are?  Even as a teacher, I would often seek to encourage a pupil with what was, in reality, exaggerated praise over some minor accomplishment.

However, I often point out that, in a Court of Law, one swears/affirms that the evidence to be given is, "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth."  In other words, if I am called upon to provide such evidence, I must neither detract from it, nor embellish it.  I must tell it - exactly as it is.

For those who are thus inclined (and even for those who are not!) it is an interesting exercise to study the number of times that it is recorded of the Lord Jesus that He spoke "the truth".   Of course, on one well-known occasion, as He stood before the Roman Procurator, Pontius Pilate, the official asked Him "What is truth?" (John18:38).  Jesus had already given the answer to that question when, in answer to another one asked by Thomas, He had said, "I am the Way, the Truth , and the Life.  No one can come to the Father except through Me." (John 14:16).

It is as we become like Him (the process known as sanctification), that we are able to be more truthful; it is as we walk in His Way, that we experience real Life - "life in all its fulness" (John 10:10).

May that be the personal experience of all of us during the coming year.

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