The Truth War

26 Sep

Looking for a house for the baby home, I have learned several things.

One of the things I have learned is that lying seems normal for some business people. Not straight out lying, I suppose; but only presenting certain parts of the truth and leaving out other parts so that you go away with one impression which isn’t actually quite accurate. Like the other day, the agent was telling us that the house only needed a little work but was basically in good condition. After we decided not to go for that house, he presented another home for us to look at by saying that it wasn’t nearly as in bad as shape as the other one we had rejected. What? Which is it?

It drives me crazy, actually.

When you talk to me, I want to know that you are telling me what I need to know to make a clear and accurate decision. I don’t really want you deciding for me what information you think I can handle or leaving out information that would radically change the way I think about the situation. It is hard to think that you have to go around assuming that the person you are talking to is not telling you everything you need to know or that he’s twisting the information a certain way that isn’t actually in line with how things are.

Some people are really good at it.

They have learned to tell you something that leads you a certain direction that isn’t completely accurate but when looking at what they have told you word for word you can’t say that anything they have told you is actually a flat out lie.

This way of speaking can even creep into the church, and I think can be especially tempting for leaders. There are lots of difficult situations certainly where as a leader you have to think carefully about what you share with others. But at the end of the day, we know several things for sure.

The first is that there are enough people we can’t trust in the world. It should be radically different in the church.

The second is no matter how we rationalize it, self-serving speech and manipulative speech that twists the truth has no place in Christian leadership. The gospel frees me up from having to live for my own glory, it frees me up from having to shade things so you only see the best side of me, it frees me up from having to speak in such a way to get you to give me what I want. The gospel should motivate me to make all my words for your good and for God’s glory. I know I for one want to believe the gospel enough to fight against self-protecting, self-righteous speech and become more and more a person whose ‘yes’ is yes and whose ‘no’ is no.

It is true. How we speak really does reveal what we really believe and as people who believe in God’s sovereignty, the grace of God, and much, much more the church, and especially Christian leaders should be people whose speech is marked by truth, not just when it comes to the letter of the law, but also the spirit!


One Response to “The Truth War”

  1. jack September 27, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

    well said, brother!
    (or written, actually) 🙂

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