Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Truth Will Set You Free

Sometimes the truth hurts. It can seem stern and unforgiving as it makes us face our inadequacies and our failures. We may invent excuses to evade the implacable truth, or we may let it crush us until we feel broken and hopeless. The truth can drive us to madness if we let it, but I've discovered that there is a very powerful weapon at my disposal when the truth is too much for me to handle. I've learned that God's truth trumps all other kinds of truth, and the reality of God's love can shield me from the full effects of some harsher realities. By focusing on God's truth, the other kinds of truth seem less important and their barbs less sharp.

Here are a few examples:
  • The truth: I once fell hopelessly in love with a dear friend who refused to date me. We remained friends, and I eventually moved on and starting dating the man who would be my husband. Years after I was married, I asked my friend why he had refused to date me since we got along so well. The truth was that he just didn't find me physically attractive, so he didn't want to try to pursue a romantic relationship with me. That kind of truth can leave dents on a woman's self-image.
    God's truth: God created me in His own image and made me beautiful and unique inside and out. God created a wide variety of physical characteristics and personality traits within the human race, and each of us have our own preferences within that spectrum. God intended for my husband and me to end up together, so it didn't really matter whether anyone else wanted to date me as long as he did. God engineered my husband and me to be attracted to each other, and that's what really matters.
  • The truth: I have inflicted pain on people I love. I have said unkind things, waited too long between phone calls, and failed to live up to expectations. I have put my pride before love and have even harbored jealousy towards close friends. I have been unforgiving and stubborn and self-righteous. These actions have negatively impacted the lives of people I care about very much.
    God's truth:
    God is constantly teaching His people the power of forgiveness. He prompts me to apologize when I do wrong and to recommit myself to the relationship. God shows us how to have open hearts so that we can focus on the positive things instead of the negative things, fostering love in the face of imperfection. God has forgiven me for these mistakes, and in many cases my loved ones have too.
  • The truth: I am not qualified for every job for which I may apply. I may not even get some of the jobs for which I am qualified. No matter how beautifully I try to sing, I will not win every solo in my choir. My books may never be on bestseller lists, and I may never be listed in a Who's Who publication. I may never win awards or be the guest of honor or keynote speaker. I may never achieve excellence even in fields I'm passionate about, and I can't expect to get top marks in everything I do.
    God's truth: I was blessed with certain skills and talents, and God will present me with opportunities to use them. I am not required to achieve something incredible all on my own. Instead, God intends for me to combine my efforts with those of others so that together we can build something wonderful. My average accomplishments when combined with the work of others become extraordinary, and God values all of my contributions no matter how small. I don't need to be the best in order to make God proud—all I need to do is use what He's given me.
  • The truth: We all die. Eventually I will lose many of the people I love, and my life will also eventually come to an end. Most of us will suffer at least some pain as our bodies stop functioning. We can't cheat death. We can't be frozen in ice to be revived by genius scientists in the next century. We probably won't be raised from the tomb as Lazarus was. Once I die, that will be it for life as I've known it.
    God's truth: Death isn't the end. My life will change in ways that I cannot imagine, but it will be a more magnificent, wonderful, and blessed life. My soul will be preserved even as my earthly body decays, and God's love will extend forever. There is no reason for me to try to cheat death because Jesus has already defeated it on my behalf.
I've found that this exercise helps me focus on what's really important. When I take God's truth to heart, it truly does set me free.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sweet site, I hadn't noticed earlier during my searches!
Carry on the wonderful work!

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