Thursday, October 8, 2020

The truth will set you free.


Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.
Fyodor Dostoevsky,   The Brothers Karamzov


I met a guy who a couple of years before had gone to our church. He was a high-flying accountant. He told me he had changed churches because he didn’t want to go to a church that judged him. I found a church, he told me, that affirmed my lifestyle, that supported my belief, taught me a truth I wanted to hear and most importantly made me feel good about myself. I remembered at the time being sad and rather fearful for where that might lead him.


Months later I heard that a significant public company had gone into receivership with fraud charges laid against a number of senior staff including the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). The CFO was my friend who decided to go to a church that didn’t judge. He was judged by criminal courts instead and was found guilty of fraud and sent to gaol.


In recent times the whole idea of truth has been undermined. From the once cherished objective truth we have descended over the decades into relative truth, the idea that each individual can develop their own truth. Relative truth suited the generations who wanted to do things their own way. Now the facts only get in the way when my truth has become true not because its true but because it’s mine. This post-modern slide into relativism has been hyper charged by the powerful social media algorithms designed to reinforce our tribal and biased view of the world, to maximise sales not certainty.


Faced with a virus that is not limited by tribe, nation or tongue, the truth needs to make a comeback, fast. Working out how to live with Covid 19 is complex and complicated. There are many unknowns and abandoning the knowns only makes it harder.


The good book’s conclusion is that to judge is not weakness but strength.

We can’t always be sure where the truth lies or who is telling the truth – but the quality of a person’s life is a clear indicator. The Lord values...


The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart; whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbour, and casts no slur on others. (Psalm 15:2,3)