When someone says, “I speak the truth,” what is the risk in believing that they are indeed speaking the truth? —MercyBreeze
There is no risk because Christ is the truth within us, however, I’m thinking your question comes from a different standpoint: that of the claim to speak truth.
You see, I have to wonder what’s up when someone goes out of their way to let me know that they are speaking the truth. It’s not that the statement is a bad one, as I’ve heard it expressed in one of two ways. The first accentuates an already obvious confidence that agrees with what is being said, the other is merely an attempt to convince others to believe what is said simply because it’s supposed to be true.
I simply have to remember how I came to demand that my own truthfulness be accepted by others as a child. I mostly claimed “I’m telling the truth” when I was trying to cover up a lie. Why should it come as any surprise that everybody else learned the same routine? And then why should I not suspect that as we got older we merely learned how to refine those skills?
I’ll be honest and tell you that the more effort someone expends in trying to convince me they are telling me the truth the more I begin to suspect a fabrication (that’s a big word for a lie … hehe). Hey, I raised three daughters and was often reminded of my own learned techniques in this matter of expressing my own truthfulness. You know, it was pretty obvious to sniff it out because it was being announced.
do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Matthew 6:2
You know what? We have known this. The people Jesus spoke to already knew this before he said it. What he told them was so stinking obvious … but no one dared say what they had privately complained about. The truth is that they already knew the truth, but they played the game. Why play the game? We already know that too. Somehow behind it all there is a payoff. There is some kind of a benefit that makes it worthwhile to pretend we don’t know the difference.
All of us have gained expertise in buying into the BS our whole lives growing up simply because it allowed us to pass off our own crap. Yeah, we may have been deceived in many ways, but not without our consent, not without our knowing that we had to bend truth to accept such a truth. We have fallen for religious truth because it fit so well with our already established lie - which is connected to our own fear, guilt and shame.
We have come to believe in Christ not as much because he tells the truth, but because he IS the truth. His very being is the accurate expression of God, and his words were the accurate expression of his very being. His words did not have to be practiced as they came forth from his very being.
Something in us has sensed this our whole lives. We have known that truth was supposed to be totally connected to the person who spoke it. We have known it, and have been consistently disappointed at the inability to find such truth, for we have spent our entire lives uncovering duplicity in the words of others. Our only real deception may have been the expectation that we might possibly eventually come to acheive such a standard, for we always knew we never really measured up, regardless of all our pretenses!
But then came Jesus. He is the everything of the everything. His truthfulness was not measured by us according to the standards we learned in the world … it was instead recognized by us as being the only real way a person could truly be a real person.
To the Galatians, Paul wrote:
I beg of you, brethren, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You have done me no wrong; but you know that it was because of a bodily illness that I preached the gospel to you the first time; and that which was a trial to you in my bodily condition you did not despise or loathe, but you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus Himself. Galatians 4:12-14
Their original connection was not glamorous. Nor does it seem that Paul had even planned on sharing the good news with these people but was somehow put into their lives because of a sickness. It was apparently a severe enough illness to produce a despising or a loathing in his direction as a representative of the true God.
The irony was that they received Paul as Christ himself. The people receiving this good news were the ones who testified to the truthfulness of what he preached. They knew it when they heard it. But it wasn’t a particular set of true things they had believed, it was Christ himself. He himself is the truth of God, and the truth of all things, for all things were made through him.