It should be pretty straightforward, right? But it never has been, and it seems to be even harder to clarify in the era we are living than ever before. Add to that the way some now speak of “my” truth, or “your” truth and it is little wonder we might be left wondering where truth lays.
Look backward over time and recorded history, it appears the issue of difficulty with truth has plagued humankind always. What happened? When did it begin to be such an issue?
If we look back far enough to the original story of human beings recorded in the Bible, we discover there did not seem to be an issue we can discern until the serpent suggested to Adam and Eve that God had been untruthful to them when He told them there was one tree in the Garden of Eden they were not to eat or touch. In his cunning deceptiveness, he planted doubt in God in the minds and hearts of Adam and Eve. So, they were seduced into doing what they had been forbidden to do.
When they were caught in the act by God, they struggled to tell the truth and instead gave a version that did not include personal responsibility on the part of either one of these two people. But even before the confrontation with God, they hid. Some part of them knew the truth they made the wrong choice.
Perhaps that is where the shift in the DNA of human persons shifted. We could be quick to shun personal responsibility and lie about something we did or at the very least, alter the exact truth of what we did. We tried to use the lie to hide so whoever discovered us would not think poorly of us. The DNA seemed to have duped us into believing we could be successful at denying personal responsibility and make a lie believable.
Story after story in the book of Genesis in the Bible we see the pattern of lying and hiding repeat itself. The deceitfulness is abundant everywhere even though the stories point to the folly and the consequences of it all. We could name the many characters from Jacob lying to his dad and pretending to be Esau to receive the blessing of Isaac to David lying about why he brought Bathsheba’s husband home from the war after sleeping with her. And it didn’t stop in the Old Testament accounts.
As lies multiplied and the world became more corrupt, hope faded for many and the linchpin we didn’t recognize at the outset was that we struggled with doubting God from way back at the beginning. So, we kept lying and hiding because we didn’t believe He would love us or truly forgive us for choices we made not just once but many times over. And the lying habit clings to us to the present day when we make a wrong choice.
But God always loved those He created and had a plan for a way back to Him, a way to know the truth about Him, and a way to stop hiding when we made those wrong choices. He knew He needed to show us who He was in a way we could comprehend, see, touch, and feel.
And that’s where Christmas entered the story, and we see another gift of Christmas – truth.
God wanted us to know and see the real truth and put to death the lie we had been told about Him, who He was, and what He was like.
Walk through a trendy furniture story and as you enjoy meandering through the settings of various pieces of furniture, you will see lots of little extra touches to make it appear as it could in your own home. Sometimes it might be a basket of lemons on a shelf or table. They look lovely and your experience tells you that they are not real, but what would the proof be?
You would need to touch, smell, and open them to see if they tasted like a lemon tastes to prove they were either real lemons or an excellent fake. That’s how you could be sure of the truth of what it was you were looking at on the shelf in the basket or in the bowl.
Likewise, God wanted to show who He really was, is, and always will be so He put on human flesh and arrived on Christmas Eve as a baby born to a poor couple who only had a manger to lay Him in.
Now to believe that God could or would do such a thing seemed almost impossible to fathom even though prophets had foretold it would be so for many centuries before this happened. But as God (Jesus) grew into manhood and began to live and walk among all the people of the day, it became evident this was no ordinary man by anyone’s definition.
Even the disciples whom Jesus chose to be his closest companions and pass on the truth of Him had to grapple with what they saw, heard, touched, and felt where Jesus was concerned. A great example is recorded by John when Thomas was wrestling with one of the sermons about not being troubled that is recorded in John 14. Jesus was trying to comfort the disciples with the truth and in response to Thomas, what did He say?
“Jesus explained, “I am the Way, I am the Truth, and I am the Life. No one comes next to the Father except through union with me. To know me is to know my Father too.”John 14:6 (TPT)
Do you see? If we come to really know Him, not just about Him, we will know the truth of who He is, how He loves, and how much He desires us to be in union with Him as before that first wrong choice in the Garden of Eden. We would be human and still prone to that old carnal habit, but with Him in our lives and heart we could more easily own the truth of our poor choices and discover grace, forgiveness and the love that is everlasting.
Better than any gift you find wrapped beneath your tree – Gifts of Christmas – Truth! And just like all the other gifts I have been writing about in this series, it’s a gift you can receive and enjoy now – no need to wait until Christmas to discover all this gift offers.
We don’t know what the road or path ahead may have for any one of us, but if we open the gifts (all He gives us when we believe) He will be with us on that journey, and we will never be alone again, never need to hide again, and never doubt his love for us again.