Friday, September 28, 2012

Truth or Consequences

By Brenda Black

Imagine the surprise when a woman got on a bus holding a baby, only to hear the bus driver say: "That's the ugliest baby I've ever seen." In a huff, the woman slammed her fare into the fare box and took an aisle seat near the rear of the bus. The man seated next to her sensed that she was agitated and asked her what was wrong.
"The bus driver insulted me," she fumed.
The man sympathized and said: "Why, he's a public servant and shouldn't say things to insult passengers."
"You're right," she said. "I think I'll go back up there and give him a piece of my mind."
"That's a good idea," the man said. "Here, let me hold your monkey."

When you get through laughing, ask yourself: How well do I handle the truth? When we speak it, we feel justified and dignified. When we hear it, we often are horrified, especially if it exposes some heretofore self-denied weakness. We think the truth should be revealed or hidden for our benefit and exposed, no matter the consequences, when it concerns everyone else. So the question again – How well do you handle the truth?

A 1960s game show, “Truth or Consequences,” suggests by its mere name that if you speak the truth, there will be no aftermath. The concept of the show was to always set somebody up to be snookered. When the truth was revealed and contestant prizes distributed more for good sportsmanship than for any specific skill, the audience would laugh uproariously at the big reveal.

I propose that there are always consequences with truth, it's not an either/or situation. If a wife of 20 years asks her husband to tell her truthfully whether her dress makes her look fat, you better believe that man is sizing up his beloved. He's also calculating the fallout from a misinterpreted err on the side of truth. However, say you get pulled over for speeding and the officer has a radar gun in his hand, digitally documenting your last mile with precision. He greets you with his somber nod and says, “How fast were you going?” Truth is the only recourse you have without repercussion to the tune of heftier fines. Truth and Consequences might better describe real life.

Have you determined your answer to how well you handle the truth? While you might be thinking about fielding unsolicited opinions or how honest you are with the office supplies, let me throw a different angle at you. God's Word is Truth. How well do you handle it?

Psalm 119:160 says “All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.” A few verses earlier, the Psalmist penned, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and light for my path.” (vs. 105) And in a companion song, David sings, “Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” (Ps. 25:4-5)

The Word is Truth. And Christ taught that those who handle it with integrity build a strong foundation. “'Why do you call me, “Lord, Lord,” and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.'” (Jesus speaking in Luke 6:46-48)

The consequence for not standing on Truth has an entirely different conclusion. “'But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.'” (Lk. 6:49)

Foundation Fail!
photo courtesy of
Truth or Consequences. Maybe the show had it right after all. It's the Truth of God or no hope at all.  

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