Truth & Consequences

truth

During a trial, in a small Missouri town, the local prosecuting attorney called his first witness to the stand. The witness was a proper well-dressed elderly lady, the Grandmother type, well spoken, and poised. She was sworn in, asked if she would tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, on the Bible, so help her God. The prosecuting attorney approached the woman and asked, “Mrs. Jones, do you know me?’” She responded, “Why, yes I do know you, Mr. Williams. I’ve known you since you were a young boy and frankly, you’ve been a big disappointment to me. You lie, cheat on your wife, manipulate people and talk badly about them behind their backs. You think you’re a rising big shot when you haven’t the sense to realize you never will amount to anything more than a two-bit paper-pushing shyster. Yes, I know you quite well.” The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, “Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney?” She again replied, “Why, yes, I do. I’ve known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. He’s lazy, bigoted, has a bad drinking problem. The man can’t build or keep a normal relationship with anyone and his law practice is one of the worst in the entire state. Not to mention he cheated on his wife with three different women. Yes, I know him.” The defense attorney almost fainted. Laughter mixed with gasps, thundered throughout the courtroom and the audience was on the verge of chaos. At this point, the judge brought the courtroom to silence, called both counselors to the bench, and in a very quiet voice said, “If either of you morons asks her if she knows me, you’re going to jail.” (Shared by Pastor Mark Eberly, Sermon Central)

Jesus said the truth makes us free (John 8:32). And it does. It frees us from being deceived, exposes false teachers and hypocrites, and keeps us honest. It’s a two-edged sword that cuts both ways. When the light of truth shines, it can embarrass even the most powerful persons, yet it also keeps people honest and humble when the truth is exposed. That’s probably why the prosecuting attorney, defense attorney, and judge were put on the hot seat when that dear old lady told it like it was.

Truth has its consequences. If we’re on the side of truth, then the consequences will be good. We can be free from having to hide it. We don’t have to worry about making up one lie to cover up for another lie. Our conscience will be free of feeling guilty when others discover that we’ve not practiced what we’ve preached. And, if we’re following truth, others will be apt to trust us for being dependable and reliable.

But it won’t turn out so good for those who deny the truth or supress it. They would rather live a fantasy than accept the reality. The truth just might go against what they always believed or it might require a change or sacrifice they do not want to make.

Some persons only hear what they want to hear. Instead of facing the truth, they hide their heads in the sand. They would rather feel comfortable with a lie than inconvenienced with the truth. They think if they ignore the truth, they can avoid feeling guilty or embarrassed if they have to confess it.

The Apostle Paul said that in the last days before Jesus’ return people would have itching ears: “For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts,” (2 Timothy 4:3, American Standard Version, ASV). The analogy is that people would rather have their itching ears scratched, so to speak, by listening to false teachings rather than sound teachings (doctrines). False teachings appear more soothing to them because accepting truth requires admitting that one is wrong. Pride can hide the truth.

But when one humbly chooses the truth, the consequences are rewarding. For example, the Apostle Paul instructed Timothy to lift up all those holding positions of authority in prayer, even those rulers they may not trust (1 Tim. 2:1-4, New International Version, NIV). The purpose for this instruction was “that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” Then he lists the consequences: “This is good and pleases God our Savior who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” The consequences are that it is 1. Good; 2. God is pleased; 3. People are saved; and 4. People may come to a knowledge of the truth.

The truth does make a difference. That is why we seek the truth even though it might seem easier to deny it or hide it at times. The consequences of coming to a knowledge of the truth is what makes the Good News so rewarding.

Good News to you!
Pastor Michael

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