Truth Hurts: Can You Handle It?
- Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
[John 8:32, KJV]
Quotes about the truth abound. Hard truths. The truth, we are told, sometimes hurts.
Hurt though it may, we are challenged. "If the shoe fits, wear it." Hard truths become real in a concrete picture. Truth is pinching toes and chafing heels. Here it is. Truth. Now, wear it, we are told, like it or not.
All the religions of the world, while they may differ in other respects, unitedly proclaim that nothing lives in this world but Truth. [Mohandas Gandhi]
The world proclaims truth. Yet we chafe against the chafing shoe. Modern discourse is never so painful as when the truth is at stake. Truth is valued today... but... only so far as truth allows us to feel good about ourselves.
Modern discourse is all about being "nice." We have given way to political correctness. Truth is now an enemy at any point where it hurts someone's feelings, where the toes are pinched and the heel hurts.
We are enjoined at every turn to show tolerance. In essence, we are told we must not make any statement that hurts someone's feelings. If truth must be sacrificed in the process, then, so be it. This is modern wisdom.
The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell.... The object of the superior man is truth. [Confucius]
The unfortunate and unexpected consequence of our failure to defend truth today is our inability to sustain love. We have lost sight of the benefits of hard truth. The truth that pinches our toes and chafes our heels is a saving truth. It warns us of oncoming blisters, of ill-fitting beliefs that will eventually harm us if left unchallenged and untreated.
Truth is the foundation of a life of love. It is the essential component of love ... hard truth, truth holding us accountable, marking the points in life where we have erred, and sparking the corrections needed through a repentant heart forgiven in love.
We must not regard with contempt the rebuke of a just man, for such a rebuke is the destruction of sin and a healing for the heart, as well as a path for God to the soul. [Bernard of Clairvaux]
It is no mistake that Satan is described as the Master of Deceit. Lies are the beginning of death. They are the curtain that covers a truth we need for survival, a disguise that reassures us, that makes us feel good.
Removing truth from our popular culture is like washing the blood from a wound without applying stitches to close the gash. In a topsy-turvy world, where "nice" is more important than "truth," we have declared moral surgeons evil and cling to people who would have us believe we are no longer bleeding.
He who corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse, and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury. [Prov 9:7 RSV]
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