Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Inconvenience of Truth

I've been giving a lot of thought lately to the subject of truth, hard truth and nothing but the potent driving force of truth.

A few of my friends are going through personal struggles at the moment, struggles which I am acutely aware revolve around them needing to face something about themselves that they are uncomfortable with.

Much as we may admire the validity of truth, even it's necessity... equally we find we are uncomfortable with the concept.

Truth by it's very nature leaves us naked and cold, beneath the gaze of the watching world. In the book of Genesis, it's the realisation of literal nakedness, that drives man to first hide from God...

... and he's been running like a madman ever since.

I have some friends I used to know at church. They went to university and never came back. However, when I or other people from our shared background try to add them as friends to something as trivial as Facebook, they universally ignore us. I truly believe they are so afraid that we will hit them with the belief mallet, that they run a mile.

I find that sad.

I've always tried to accept people where they in their lives... even if their path leads them somewhere I am not comfortable with. It's their choice, their life... and they must do as they see fit.

I truly believe that such people are afraid... not so much of the people they used to know, but more about the fact that in revisiting the past, they have to ask hard questions about where they are now.Faced with that decision, it's sometimes easy to see why people prefer to hide in the dark... underneath the duvet.

And on a much more serious note...

For those of you who are not aware, today is Holocaust Memorial Day... it is a day when the need for truth is great. We live in an age where evil men, men who in an attempt to justify their vile politics and beliefs, seek to deny or cover up the deeds of their political ancestors. "The Holocaust didn't happen!" is their battle cry... or often they are more subtle and merely try to play down the figures...

... but how can you play down astronomical figures that reach well into the millions?

Think about that for a second and don't look at it as if it's merely another number... millions!

That's all your family... gone.

All your friends... gone.

All your neighbours... gone.

The simple truth is that too many people were cruelly snatched away from this life for it to be so casually dismissed as it is by some. Heck - even if it were just one person, that would be one person too much... nobody deserves to live and eventually die like that... nobody.

People who committed such atrocities and those who seek to deny them, adopt such a position because deep down they know how so very wrong their dark ideologies are. They have to harden their hearts and blind themselves to it... because that is the only way they can justify themselves.

Jesus once commented on the human habit of hiding from the truth:

"This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."
John 3:19-21

Some of that is a bit heavy... and some of it seems nonsensical. Are all men wilfully evil, are we to be lumped in with those who approve of genocide? Well no, Jesus isn't saying we all go round looking for innocent children to butcher, he's saying that we are all corrupted by our human nature, broken by it... and under it's and influence. It's our sinfulness that wants to hide... you've all heard of the mythical "11th" commandment- don't get caught out. Make no mistake. though.. whether our sins are as despicable as genocide or typically menial (as most people's probably are by comparison); the final fate of a life spent outside of the grace of God, is the same... death.

We must all face the truth... we must all face up to what we have done. However... there is hope.

Facing the truth is not so much about facing up to what you have done. Truth is about facing him.

Real truth is a person:

Jesus said "I am the way and the truth and the life".

He also said that if we followed him (in his strength), that we would know the truth and the truth would set us free.

Knowing Jesus is freedom.

But what of truly evil men who repent? You know... the ones who turn to God after a life of despicable acts? What does Jesus mean when he says that it may be plainly seen that what these people have done has been done through God? Does he mean that all the evil that men do, is fuelled by God?


What he means, is that when these people turn around from their wickedness and turn away from their vile acts, it is God who enabled them to do it.

All that is required on our part, is that we turn to Jesus and look at him. If we constantly look at what we have done, we get dragged down into the miry clay. If we fix our gaze on him, his love compels us to rise out of the pit. We have to let him look at the depths of our heart... and understand that no matter what we have done, we are not beyond salvation. The only thing that will not be forgiven is our unwillingness to be forgiven... our stubborn refusal to accept his grace.

In the Babylon 5 episode, The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari, the titular character has a near fatal heart attack and whilst unconscious goes through an arduous epiphany. He stubbornly refuses to face what he's done to the character of G'Kar, only two words are required of him. Two genuine, heartfelt words that will set him free from his perilous condition...

"I'm sorry"

That is merely a picture... but it is the same. All we need to do in order to be saved, is take the courage to look at Jesus - let him know how genuinely sorry we are for our broken ways, and he will transform us with his love.

There's an old worship song that comes to mind... and I think I'll part with it's words for now, leaving it as a meditation for you to contemplate.... whoever you are and whatever you've done:

God of grace, I turn my face
To You, I cannot hide
My nakedness, my shame, my guilt
Are all before Your eyes

Strivings and all anguished dreams
In rags lie at my feet
And only grace provides the way
For me to stand complete

And Your grace clothes me in righteousness
And Your mercy covers me in love
Your life adorns and beautifies
I stand complete in You

© 1990 Sovereign Lifestyle Music


  1. Nick, I found your blog over a year ago and every once in a while I come and visit. Everytime, I enjoy what you have to say. From the lighthearted to those things of deeper meaning, it's always a pleasure to read your posts. You have a gift of putting your thoughts into words... Something I haven't quite mastered yet.

    Jesus said the truth would set us free. Truth is found everywhere and in almost everyone. Truth is light and light always chases away darkness, it's an unchangable law. May the Lord bless you as you seek to fill your mind and heart with truth...as you do so you will see clearer, love greater, live better and be filled with light, His light. You'd be surprised how much truth you already have.

  2. Hi Alicia, thank you for your kind words... I can only hope Ido them justice. :-)




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