This one has been stirring inside of me for weeks, and I am just now putting my thoughts into words for you. I haven’t blogged in awhile, and it is because this one has been on my mind. This struggle. This very real battle. This question:
“When the truth isn’t palatable, do you still swallow it?”
As a child, I can distinctly remember the foods that I didn’t like to eat. Just the thought of radishes, beets, and lima beans among other vegetables invoke a certain memory in my gag reflex. However, I was raised to eat what was placed in front of me. My family never had much excess, but we never went hungry. Our back yard boasted a garden that I would be proud to call my own today, but I’m not sure I showed much gratitude at the age of five to my mother for tending it. I learned at a young age that if I plugged my nose when I swallowed these horrible vegetables, I wouldn’t be able to taste their flavor. Little did I know or care at the time that these things were good for me. I didn’t need to like how they tasted for their nutrients to benefit my little body, though. I just had to swallow them.
We live in a world that claims truth to be relative. “What is true for you is true for you.” Absolute truth seems to have become a thing of the past, like typewriters and wide-leg jeans. It doesn’t taste good anymore. It has lost its luster. The lines between what is right and wrong are so muddled that ethics and morality are more of a sweet sentiment than a known reality. It has become offensive to use the name Jesus Christ in public places, unless of course it’s used in vain. This next generation knows little to nothing about such things as the Genesis account of creation, how to find the book of Psalms, and the real meanings of Christmas and Easter. My generation has watched as we’ve moved further toward humanism, materialism, and all manner of immorality without restraint. And where does it stop? Where will the line be drawn? And when?
Maybe when the church starts caring more about what God thinks and less about how man views us. Maybe when Christians start choosing faith over fear, courage over cowardice, and love over selfishness. Maybe when we determine to be known for the fruit of the Spirit instead of the fruit of our flesh. Maybe when we figure out how to couple truth and grace together just as Christ did instead of assuming it must be one or the other. Maybe then.
God’s truth isn’t always easy to swallow, for the believer and non-believer alike. If it doesn’t taste good, it’s probably because it stings. Christians don’t want to be told that their bumper sticker theology won’t hold up before a Holy God, and non-believers don’t want to hear that Jesus is the only way when they’re running in the opposite direction from Him. But does that mean that it doesn’t need to be said? Does that mean we don’t need to swallow the truth?
Call me crazy, call me naïve, but I believe that God wrote a book. I believe that He wrote this book to us and for us. I believe He established a moral code and boundaries out of His love for us for our protection. I believe there is a difference between right and wrong, and I believe that the God of the Bible has the authority and the right to define where that line is drawn. I believe there is one Way, one Truth, and one Life. I believe in sin and the devastating consequences of it. I believe that when we choose to sin, we choose to suffer. I believe in grace and redemption. I believe in forgiveness. I believe in eternal life.
I believe that hope has a name.
I believe that peace has a name.
I believe that love has a name.
I believe that truth has a name.
His name is Jesus Christ.
Do you know Him?