Updated: Feb 17, 2021
A WATERED-DOWN TRUTH IS NOT THE TRUTH
Oh, how easy it is to tell half-truths in order to save ourselves embarrassment or worse! God’s whole truth, however, is a great motivator to not fibbing anymore. Agreed?
Eternal Perspectives by Sally Bair
Nothing but the truth
Mom asks her son if he cleaned his room. “Yeah, I cleaned it,” he says, hiding the fact that he shoved his toys and dirty clothes under the bed. The teacher asks his student if she cheated on her test paper. “Of course not,” she answers, mentally dismissing the moments she had peeked at her next-desk neighbor’s paper. “Is that report ready?” the boss asks. His employee says, “Yes, sir, coming right up,” knowing he won’t enjoy lunch because he must type the yet-written report.
Half-truths can be easy to speak for many of us. Even the apostle Peter told one, probably without realizing it. When Jesus asked him, “Do you really love me, Peter?” he answered, “Yes, Lord, I love you.” Then out of fear he denied knowing Jesus. Not once, not twice, but three times.
The book of Genesis tells the story of how Abraham also told a half-truth. Seems he wanted to save his own hide, as Peter did, so Abraham told his host that Sarah, his wife, was really his sister. The half-truth backfired, getting Abraham and his host both in trouble with God. Sadly, he repeated the same offense a second time with a different host. In both cases, Abraham forgot God’s promise to take care of him, so he tried to take control of each situation rather than letting God be in control. Abraham thought he knew best, even better than God.
How easy it is to try to play God, taking His role in a situation that seems unpleasant, dangerous or scary. The temptation to water down the truth causes all of us to falter sometimes. But we need to understand that half-truths are as deceitful and harmful as outright lies. They keep us separated from close fellowship with God and generally get us into trouble, like Abraham’s half-truths did. We all need to be vigilant in telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Our spiritual well-being depends on it.
Jesus taught, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8) Who are the pure in heart? Those who love righteousness as God does.
Lord, forgive us when we water down the truth. Give us the desire to be wholly truthful in all that we say and do, especially in situations where we fear for our safety or our reputation. We want to be pure as you are pure. In Jesus’ name, Amen.