For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” [3 John 1:4]
When we are small, there is a tendency to fib to our parents to preclude consequences and punishments, or to obtain something we want. Our parents teach us that there are severe consequences for lying. “Santa may not bring your gifts this year,” children are told at Christmas. We immediately see the negative consequences of fibbing, as we envision our favorite, most desired toy not being delivered by Santa’s sleigh.
Despite our young learning, it seems as if prevarication as an art form has become almost acceptable in our society. I find this a troubling phenomenon. It leaves a bereft feeling in my heart, and pain like a dagger knife in the soul of our nation.
I am the way, the truth and the life; no man comes to the Father but by Me,” Jesus posits in John [John 14:6]. When we anticipate the coming of Jesus each Advent, we also anticipate his coming in truth. For Jesus, truth is paramount to salvation. To chronically lie presupposes that Jesus is not truth, and that nothing in our world matters. For us, this nihilism eats at our very core. Lying, feels like disunion with Jesus, who is truth. Look at Pilate who didn’t understand the nature of God’s kingdom. He stands perplexed, before Jesus, as he asks him, “What is Truth?”
We, unlike Pilot, know that truth is more than a mere convenience for managing our lives. Truth is indeed union, with God; chronic lying is separation from God.
This Advent season, in moments of quiet, meditate and pray on the importance of truth coming into the world and entering into our own society.