Psalm 119:30 I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws.
One of the principles Scott and I have tried to instill in our children is the importance of honesty. When caught in disobedience, we encourage our kids to be honest about what's happened. Oftentimes this will even serve to mitigate the punishment since we want to reward the right behavior of honesty while still acknowledging the original act of disobedience. I have struggled over the course of my life to be an honest person and know first-hand the damaging impact that lying can have on relationships. It wasn't until I began to walk closely with God that I saw significant improvement in this area of my life. I want my children to avoid the various heartaches I've gone through, so honesty is a cherished life principle in our home.
This morning I'm reading John 18:19-40 which details Jesus' appearances before the high priest and local governmental official. In Verse 37, Jesus says, "You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me. This verse is a sharp contrast to our modern day world where every person is allowed to determine his own version of "truth". Here Jesus gives a distinguishing characteristic of every truth teller - they all listen to Jesus.
This strikes me in the gut. I tend to be inclusive not exclusive and I treasure union not division. Great numbers of respected, eloquent leaders in every industry are not on the side of truth. Many well-meaning, hard-working, principled every day folks are not on the side of truth. How can I reconcile this in my own life? I love God's truth but only when it's delivered through God's grace. How can I stand solidly on the side of truth without becoming someone I personally wouldn't like?
"Stay close to me and then your truth will be truth overflowing with grace", Jesus whispers into my heart. Just two chapters earlier in John 16:13 Jesus told the disciples that the Holy Spirit would "guide you into all truth". With the Holy Spirit as my Guide to truth and Jesus as the Source of truth, I am struck again at the importance of spending time with God every day. If I want to be the truthful, honest person that I want my children to model, I have to stay closely connected to Jesus by spending time with Him. Further, just as I learned a few weeks ago, there's a vast difference between hearing and listening. Jesus says that everyone on the side of truth listens to Him. I have to engage my heart and patiently wait to hear Jesus speak if I want to stand on the side of truth.
Jesus, I want to stand wherever You are - period. You are The Truth (John 14:6). If I am standing with You, I am standing with Truth. Help me listen with my heart fully exposed and absorb Your truth this morning. I don't want to be an eloquent leader who stands for lies or a well-meaning commoner who stands for confusion. I want to be your humble servant who stands for real truth - Yours.