“I told her I thought she’d been very honest, and that this was totally commendable, but that you don’t always have to chop with the sword of truth. You can point with it, too.” (anne lamott. Bird-by-Bird)
I return to the Anne Lamott quotation over and over in reference to truth because she nails it! Haven’t we all been chopped at by the truth (and truth be told, done some chopping ourselves?).
Truth is another one of these concepts that has been hijacked outside of Eden and used as a weapon or turned into a game (Truth or Dare comes to mind). And even reading about it here may make you uncomfortable because we live in a world that tends to trumpet “Capital T” Truth and you’re already a bit defensive and I really haven’t said much yet.
Eden Lost has been infiltrated by lies, confusion, half-truths, and even white lies. Is it ok to tell a white lie? I don’t know … but I do know I tell them. I find it hard to imagine that Adam and Eve sat around in pre-Fall Eden wondering about white lies since they had yet to tell any. Their conversations were 100% truthful. Can you imagine?! Lies pollute us now in one way or another.
• Our perceptions
• Our beliefs
• Our thoughts
• Our feelings
How did we get ourselves in the mess of Eden lost? A lie. A fairly simple (on the surface) question that went right to Adam and Eve’s heart –Does God love you? Does he have your best at heart? And as the Children’s Story Book Bible says, that lie echoes on in each of our hearts.
Jesus said that the truth will set us free. Free!
When we know the truth about ourselves, we can bring that before God and our loving communities to be cleaned out, sorted through, changed, and maybe discarded.
When we know the truth about our marriages, jobs, children, churches, cities, products that we buys, and here is another lie, it doesn’t make us less human, it makes us more human. It can hurt like hell. But that’s what hell does. As we know the truth, we hear the true drumbeat of Eden.
Someday, we will not know truth in this broken way. Instead, we will each have a sword of truth and know how to use it honorably. I cannot wait!
All the posts in the series will be added to this page each day of October. If you would like to receive these reminders in your email inbox, subscribe now. I am enjoying the journey together. Amy
Reminders: Love, satisfaction, extravagance, freedom, belonging, recreation, truth
Mark Allman says
Too often I have heard people justify their hurtful actions by declaring that it was true. Just because something is true does not give us a right to use that truth in anyway we want. I think the test is when we wield this truth does it build up? Does it serve a honorable purpose? If not we should keep that truth to ourselves. I try to avoid those white lies and sometimes I elect to not answer someones question to do so. I do not think we are bound to answer a question just because we are asked. We can decline to be pulled into a conversation.
“Too often I have heard people justify their hurtful actions by declaring that it was true.” Me too Mark. And until now my reaction has been to be annoyed, I”m now trying to remind myself it isn’t “truth’s” fault that people are using him/her wrong :). I like the standard/question you use — yes, does this have an honorable purpose? Enjoyed your comment!
Amen to this. Amy, you have a beautiful way of making the truth so clear in your writing, thank you!
Holly, you make me smile!
Ditto on Holly’s comment! I think we like to err on the side of the truth of the Law, not the truth of the Gospel. I know I do. At least I’ve finally figured that out :)