We live in a time when truth is becoming very rare and precious. What is the truth about covid-19? Are masks helpful or harmful? Are vaccines saving lives or killing people? What is the truth about the United States presidential election? How about global warming? Or is it global cooling? What is the truth? And do you really want to know?
Jesus Christ said the truth will make you free (John 8:32). Just think about how much easier and less stressful life would be if people told the truth—all the time! Surely everyone would want to live in a world of complete honesty. Or would they? Would you?
The sad truth is that people lie, even though the Ninth Commandment forbids it. Romans 3:4 says, “[L]et God be true, but every man a liar ….” Many studies show that people typically lie to get out of trouble or to make themselves look good.
But did you know that most people actually want to be lied to?
God inspired the Prophet Isaiah to record, “That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits” (Isaiah 30:9-10).
This is a specific prophecy of what would happen to God’s own people in our time. Many of them would reject the truth of God, preferring to hear smooth-sounding lies. This attitude is rampant in the modern nations of Israel—specifically the United States, Britain and the Jewish nation in the Middle East.
No wonder lies are growing in politics, medicine and the media! The ground is fertile for planting the seeds of deception. The peoples of physical and spiritual Israel prefer to be lied to. Why?
Christ gives us the answer in John 3:19-21: “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”
How true! Most people don’t want to hear the truth because it is corrective. Some people would like to hear the truth about the recent U.S. presidential election, for example, but do they also want to hear the truth about immorality, drug usage, debt or unhealthy eating? Many do not.
We cannot pick and choose when it comes to the truth. We need to accept the full truth on every issue—including ourselves. And the real truth is founded on God’s Word.
The Bible is an awesome truth tool if we are willing to use it! “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
The first lesson of our Bible correspondence course says, “The Bible is God’s great spiritual mirror. It shows us every flaw in our thinking, reveals every spot on our characters. It pictures us as we really are—as God sees us, not as we like to think we are or as we like to have other people look upon us.”
God’s Word shows us the truth of who we really are and how we need to change. That can be hard to accept. But if we refuse God’s truth, then we are wanting to hear only smooth things.
The person who refuses God’s truth is simply living a lie. If not corrected, those lies will multiply into total darkness.
So how do we live in the light of God’s truth?
Psalm 111:10 shows us that if we are to have a good understanding, we must keep the commandments of God. God’s Ninth Commandment forbids lying. Every time we tell a lie or accept a lie, we move further away from God’s truth.
Psalm 25:5 says, “Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation .…”
God has to show us the truth. Then we have to accept that truth and act on it. That means being correctable and changing when we are wrong.
After he was corrected by God, King David recorded in Psalm 51:6 that God desires truth in the inward parts. If we are to see the truth of matters in the world around us, we first have to accept God’s truth about ourselves. If we don’t want to be lied to, we have to first make sure we aren’t lying to ourselves.
The choice is yours. If you are tired of being lied to, choose to live the way of God’s truth in your life. “Remove from me the way of lying … I have chosen the way of truth …” (Psalm 119:29-30).
Do you really want to know the truth?