5 Ways to Seek Truth
We had been trying to teach our four-year-old the importance of telling the truth.
Jokingly, Derek told Trent that his nose would grow long, like Pinocchio's, if he told lies.
If only we had known then, what problems this would cause. Poor Trent.
He really believed Derek- and no matter what else we said, he was still scared of his nose growing long. He also started checking out everyone else's noses. It wasn’t a healthy fear.
Not only was it hard for him to understand that his Daddy had been joking about the nose story, he also didn’t understand what a lie was. Even if he said something mistakenly (and then realized he was wrong) he’d start hiding his nose.
I would turn around to find my little guy with eyes wide and teary, nose tucked into the top of his shirt, fingers feeling his nose, to make sure it hadn’t grown. Long nose fears were causing havoc in his young life.
Finally, one morning when he was getting dressed, once again talking about noses, I told him, again, that Pinocchio was a make-believe story…that it wasn't real.
This time, the truth clicked. He understood. Trent excitedly ran down the stairs yelling,
"OH! We've got to tell Daddy the truth about noses!”
The drama was suddenly over. Trent stopped worrying about his nose and we became more careful about the way we joked around with this child, the one who took everything we said quite literally.
The memory of this story makes me smile, now, but it also got me to thinking, about what God has to say about telling the truth.
Those who claim to know God but contradict Him, add to His words, or refuse to follow or accept his commands are called liars. Here are a couple of supporting verses from both the Old and New Testaments,
“Whoever says, “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,” 1 John 2:4
“Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.” Proverbs 30:6
These are sobering words to me as I think about my own responsibility, as someone who seeks to proclaim the truth about God, both through my daily life and through my writing.
Liar is a serious word and the consequences, here, are very real.
All of us who call ourselves Christians share a responsibility to be extra careful with our words and actions. These verses remind me of how important it is to pray for each other, to stay in the Word, and to encourage one another to keep God’s commands.
There is grace and help for all of us. We can’t keep God’s commands on our own. We have all failed. We will continue to fail. We need Jesus. Through Jesus, when we accept his work on the cross and ask for forgiveness, we are made clean and the truth is in us. On this side of heaven, lies still creep in and cause harm. Yet, our love for Jesus means that we don’t WANT to be liars. A little bit of healthy fear, to keep us vigilant against lies, is good.
A healthy fear against lies will propel us to these 5 things:
1. Study the Word
“Merely reading the Bible is no use at all without we study it thoroughly, and hunt it through, as it were, for some great truth.” Dwight L. Moody
“Remember, Christ’s scholars must study upon their knees.” Charles Spurgeon
3.Obey God’s commands
“I will take delight in your commands, which I love. I will lift up my hands to your commands, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes. “ Psalm 119:47-48
4. Memorize God’s Word
“I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. I praise you, O LORD; teach me your decrees.” Psalm 119:11-12
5. Take God at his word
“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 1 Peter 1:20-21
No, our noses won’t grow long like Pinocchio's if we tell lies, but lies do have terrible consequences. As Christians who love Jesus and want to bring him glory, let’s always be seeking grace and truth.