Unwanted Truth

I Don’t Like The Sound Of That Truth

“The truth hurts when it needs to do so,” I told Ed. I was explaining that my ex-rays showed mild osteoarthritis in both my knees. I wanted to hear that there was an easy fix but the doctor said that I should make sure that I keep active. Walking, exercising, working, and moving or keeping active, as the doctor instructed me, makes my knees pain. The last thing I wanted to hear was to keep moving.

Ed told me, “To suck it up and not to let a little pain slow me down. The older you get your joints are going to ache and pain. No one wants to hear you whine. Get over yourself. Do you think the doctor was wrong about what the ex-rays showed or what you need to do?”  All I could say to Ed was that sometimes doctors can be incorrect. The passage of time will prove if my doctor’s diagnosis is right or wrong.

Old Testament prophets, correctly and incorrectly spoke for God to the people. It was not unusual for these prophets to predict the future. In one instance, two prophets revealed what God said would happen in the future. One was Jeremiah, and the other was Hananiah. Jeremiah predicted that the people of Israel would be under Babylon’s rule for a long time to come. Hananiah said the opposite that God would break the power of the king of Babylon within two years. The truth of the two men would be tested over time. There was a time limit on Hananiah’s prediction so that after two years it would be evident who was telling the truth.

You can imagine people wanted to hear what Hananiah said, but were reluctant to accept what Jeremiah predicted. The people needed to heed the truth from God, but since the truth coming from Jeremiah was harsh, they rejected it.

It has not changed in our time. We need the truth, but we do not necessarily want to hear it. Our world is full of people telling us what they believe we want to hear. It is not necessarily the whole truth. We live in a time of half truths which are whole lies. People, perhaps politicians, or some sales personal, use half truths to take care of the present, which gives us no truth, now and in the future to stand on.

What truth and person can be trusted for now and forever? All truth is found in Jesus Christ. He is the promise of the Old Testament Savior to come from God. In the New Testament Jesus shows how he is the Savior of sinners from God forever. The truth is a double-edged sword. It comforts and draws blood. Jesus came to bring us the double-edged sword of God’s love.

Jesus experienced two-sided love. He suffered violence for doing good, was persecuted for telling the truth, and made enemies by loving and healing people. To save sinners he had to shed his blood and life on the cross. Jesus calls us to know that following him will cause us to battle the evil within us and around us. It may cut us off from others. His followers suffer as he did, the double-edged sword of love.

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Raymond Maher
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