Saturday, March 27, 2010

Valiant for Truth

Lies are rooted in fear and unbelief -- the truth in faith and love. It takes courage to tell the truth. Those who fear justice will never speak it. Those that walk in love can speak nothing else, for love is always just. It cannot be otherwise. But because justice is always unpopular with those whom it convicts of sin, love and truth require great courage.

Truth and justice are as inseparable as lies and injustice. Truth and love are as inseparable as lies and fear. We speak the truth to those we love. We lie to those whom we do not esteem or to those whom we fear do not esteem us. And in so doing, we plant seeds of injustice in the soil of fear and reap a harvest of war, suspicion, and hate.

Because they fear justice, liars cannot afford to speak the truth. But those that love God and their neighbors cannot afford to speak lies. Truth is the root of justice and love is the root of truth. As our love grows cold, so does our passion for truth. As truth perishes, so does justice. But love is always just and justice is built on truth. Love speaks truth for the sake of justice. Justice requires truth for the sake of love. Truth and love are of the Lord.

But because we have bent our tongues toward deceit, we cannot recognize the Lord. We proceed from evil to evil because we are not valiant for truth. We walk with slanderers and deceive our neighbors because we have taught our tongues to speak lies. We dwell in the midst of deceit and weary ourselves to commit iniquity and, through our tolerance of deceit, we refuse to know the Lord (Jeremiah 9:3-6).

Being valiant for truth in the midst of a sinful world requires more than social outrage, it requires a commitment to suffering for righteousness sake. It requires a willingness to suffer the scourge of unpopularity and the cross of persecution. These are not something we seek, as if suffering, unpopularity, and persecution were priceless treasures. Rather, they are something we cannot avoid if we love the truth.

It is the truth that sets us free and it is lies that bind us. Those we love, we seek to liberate from the bondage of deceit. But lies proliferate wherever our love has grown cold. Love cools wherever things are valued above relationships. Being valiant for truth is not only about justice, it is about love. To their destruction, we allow those whom we do not love to continue in their deception. But to their salvation, we valiantly proclaim truth to those whom we love.

This is what God did for us and what He expects us to do for our fellow man. In a world bent on deceit and greed, in love, we are to be valiant for truth. If this were easy, it would not require courage. Regardless of the love that is in our hearts for our fellow man, we can expect severe resistance to the truth, for it will always convict men of their sin and those that love their sin more than they love truth will hate both truth and its messengers.

They will lie to conceal the truth and commit acts of violence to silence the witnesses that testify against their injustice. But nothing can silence the truth, for when the lies have run their course the truth will remain, and those that have been valiant for truth will shine like the stars in the heavens.

Michael Hennen