I’ve always asked my children to tell the truth. It’s amazing how our little bundles of joy have the innate tendency to sin by lying since birth. I encourage them by saying that no matter what, their consequence will be less severe if they admit the truth. I’ve also told them there is nothing that would ever make me stop loving them. I will always forgive them. If I, a sinful human, can love and forgive my children, think about how much more our Heavenly Father forgives us? He rejoices in us telling the truth!
As I ponder this week’s reading in 2John and 3John, I am surprised at how often the word truth appears in the text. Read the following verse.
For I was very glad when brethren came and testified to your truth, that is, how you are walking in truth. I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth. 3John 1:3-4
But, what exactly does John mean here? What does he mean by “walking in the truth?” What does the Bible say about truth? I decided to do a bit of searching and come to find out, the Bible is not quiet about telling the truth.
Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Colossians 3:9-10
Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Ephesians 4:25
You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44
Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight. Proverbs 12:22
Over and over in scripture, we see that God hates lies. Whether we lie because we are ashamed or scared, the result of lying is always negative. Lies are hurtful and divide people. Half truths break hearts and relationships. God clearly tells us the truth is always better. The following verse is my favorite.
For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. Luke 8:17
Many times in scripture, Jesus begins his words with “I tell you the truth…” His words of truth are a gift. The truth is precious, valuable, and life giving. In John 14:6 Jesus tells us, “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes through the Father except through me.” He is the truth!
I believe there is a second meaning to this truth spoken of here. To walk in truth means to walk in the life-changing knowledge of God. Knowing the truth is knowing the good news about Jesus, our Lord and Savior, and living our lives in such a way that acknowledges His existence and presence in our lives. Walking in truth means walking in love, obedience, and reverence to God.
If anyone in Christ is living a lie, there is hope. God wants us to confess our sin, share the truth, and be forgiven in His love. He rejoices when the one sheep returns to Him. He is overjoyed when He finds the one coin! He is willing and waiting to forgive. What lie are you hiding? Bring it to the LORD and be free.
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” John 8:32
*A version of this post appeared on Wayside Women’s Blog.