The Freedom of Truth Telling
Be True To Yourself
I vividly remember a television show entitled “To Tell The Truth” being on TV when I was a child. There was a panel of celebrities who would determine which of the three “experts” was telling the truth about their identity. In fact, only one was telling the truth, while the other two were imposters trying to fool the panel. After all three answered several questions, the host would say, “Will the REAL [Joe Schmoe] PLEASE STAND UP!” After a moment of jockeying, the truth telling expert would stand to his or her feet.
Here’s the take away: eventually, the truth always surfaces—always! Even though truth has become a rare commodity in our culture, at some point, even the most convincing liar is found out.
My ultimate role model, Jesus, once said, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32, Amplified) Friends, the ONLY thing that can possibly ensure freedom is the truth! Let me explain.
If you are a liar, your life is a façade; you must continue to cover your tracks and protect each lie you tell so that you are not exposed. I cannot imagine anything more stressful, or time consuming, than trying to validate something that was never valid initially. That is the antithesis of freedom, isn’t it? Here is the most disturbing part of all—people offer more grace for liars than they do for truth tellers!
I will never forget a speaking engagement in Beaumont, Texas, where I addressed a large group of people at a worship event. When I was finished speaking, a man approached me, visibly angry. He looked at me and said, “ Did you have to be so unapologetically honest?” At first, being so shocked by his question, I hesitated. Then I answered, “Would you have felt more at home if I offered a mild deception, sir? The truth NEVER demands an apology!”
Remember, Jesus was crucified because He claimed to be the Son of God. Those who sent Him to the cross didn’t believe He was the Son of God! Jesus was crucified because He only told the truth … because He IS the truth. By telling the truth, Jesus undermined the corrupt Roman government and the “pharisaical” religious system that used its power to extort money from the people. Imagine the despicable stories our current mainstream media might have concocted to make Jesus out to be a liar, while praising the corrupt Roman system that supported them!
Yes, history always has a way of repeating itself. Believe me, dear friends, being a truth teller will not make you popular, but it will make you FREE! Freedom means not being enslaved by anyone … most of all yourself. If you’re not true to yourself, you’ll be false to everyone else. If being a truthful person frustrates your friends, find some new friends! Here is a phrase to keep you honest,
“This above all: to thine own self be true
And it must follow, as the night the day
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”
– William Shakespeare
A few years ago, I felt the need to study my family history. After I had my genealogy traced, I got my first look at our family coat of arms, seven crosses and a sable lion. Beneath the Tyrrell name was this inscription: “Truth, the only way to life.” A “lie” is not a “life.” It is missing the essential letter, “F,” to make it work. For me, that “F” represents Freedom, which has a price tag.
“Truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth … so help me God.”