I read a book recently that sparked some serious thinking in my brain! The book is entitled "How Do You Kill 11 Million People?" and is authored by one of my favorite authors Andy Andrews. In it Andy writes about our country today and the level at which we hold our public leaders accountable. In its purest form it is a book about truth and how truth can either set us free or enslave us. I encourage all of you to find a copy and read it as soon as possible.
Besides the obvious message that this book brought to my mind about truth I also found myself thinking about truth on a deeper and more personal level. Truth to self is a concept that we rarely consider. We are taught about truth to others and society throughout our whole lives. "Tell the truth", is something we here from the moment we begin speaking. But what about telling the truth to ourselves?
Oscar Wilde once wrote, "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." We do that don't we? Whether it be from pain, disappointment, or tragedy we wear masks to hide some of our truth. But, for me, the real tragedy is not that we wear masks to hide our truth from others it is that we hide our truth from ourselves. We dishonor ourselves when we are not true to ourselves. Unfortunately that concept can be used as an excuse in our lives. "I am only being true to myself", is a phrase that we sometimes use as code for "I really just want to do what I want to do".
I believe being true to one self means that I take time to look at my life and identify my strengths and my weaknesses, my good and bad qualities, as well as my sinful nature, and then seek to better myself. The step in that process that trips us up is being honest about the bad stuff in our lives! It takes no courage at all to confess the good things to ourselves. Where true courage lies is when we can be honest about those things that we would rather keep hidden, even to ourselves.
Jesus says in John 8:32 "You shall know the truth and truth shall set you free." I know that he was referring to the gospel truth but I also believe he was giving to us another great truth. Just as the gospel truth can set us free from the wages of sin, so personal truth can set us free to live a life of personal freedom.
Taking a good, hard look at ourselves in the mirror is a risky proposition and shedding light on the dark places of our soul's can be a painful process. But seeking the truth, in all things, is what makes us better people for our families, our friends, and our world. The power of the truth will always conquer the power of a lie. Let us seek to be people of truth. Just as we must demand it from others we must demand it, even more, of ourselves. Until next time!