“Truth comes first.” I heard this statement during a casual conversation the other day. My immediate thought was, what could people possibly put before truth? I discovered a couple of possibilities; I am sure that you can identify others.
- Political correctness
A few weeks ago, I had an odd discussion with someone who holds a position of authority in a Christian education program. We were chatting when they decided to talk about truth. Bottom line – they believe that we should NOT be truthful in many situations and that the Bible supports that position. I began to explain how I thought that their view of the Bible was incorrect but realized quickly that they were not interested in my thoughts. Our conversation was short.
The scripture is clear:
“These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts; do not plot evil against each other, and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this,” declares the Lord. (Zechariah 8:16-17)
Does “truth come first” in my life? Is that what God expects? Is that what my colleagues see?
Now, telling the truth has been tough for me many times in my life. For instance, when I flew on Navy aircraft, I had to say out loud how much I weighed and then a clerk recorded it on the flight manifest. It was embarrassing. But, can you imagine the investigation report if I was not truthful? “The cause of the accident is clear – Jill Stein lied about her weight.” And, so I told them the truth. Have no doubt, I hated flying on Navy airplanes!!
It sounds harsh, but if we are not truth tellers, then we are liars.
In her 2011 Psychology Today article (“Who Lies”), Bella DePaulo noted that often people lie because they are concerned about others. We tell people what we think that they want to hear.
But, do we really want people to lie to us? If I lie to you about the little things just to make you feel good, should you trust me to tell you the truth about the important things? For us to be better friends or supportive colleagues, we need to be able to trust each other.
The same article reported that the more responsible a person was the less they lied. I wonder, do we promote those who tell the truth into positions of more responsibility? It appears that telling the truth is good for our careers.
So, the question is, does “Truth come first” in our lives? If the answer is no, it’s time to make a change.