Most of you who read these posts are native English speakers. But I’m aware that there’s a minority who are not. Having lived for years in foreign countries, I’ve come to where I can speak a simplified English and can at times look into phrases that native English speakers take for granted. One example could be when we say, “Truth be known…” and then go on to reveal something that might not otherwise be said.
Truth be known. That’s really the way things should be, isn’t it? Truth should be known. But is it always? I may have written how that, in my youth, I really wasn’t looking for God since I’d concluded that there was no such thing. “God, Jesus, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny”, that’s what I always said, with a grin and gusto. “Little did I know.” There’s another good phrase but I’ll stick with “truth be known” for now. But although I wasn’t looking for God, I really was looking for the truth.
Truth has virtually always occupied a major significance on my “operating system”, if you know what I mean. But I’ve also come to realize, often by sad and dramatic experience, that truth is not that big a thing for some people.
King David said to God, “Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts…”. (Psalm 51:6) Or as Jesus said, “That on the good ground are they that in an honest and good heart, having heard the Word, keep it…”. (Luke 8:15)
Honesty. Truth. These are the attributes of the Godly, regardless of nation, culture or creed. We’re all tempted to lies and dishonesty; I certainly tried that for a while. But my conscience was screaming at me and struggling for supremacy in my soul.
Sadly and shockingly, I’ve met ones who’ve even seemed to come to the Lord and be taught by me who I found later were not really “dealing with a straight deck”, as they say in poker. They were not honest. And to my chagrin, some of these people played me for a fool and I didn’t catch on for a while.
Was I naive? Too trusting? Too unwilling to see what was going on? Probably so to some degree. But the people I’m thinking of are ones who evidently, I found later, had a history of that kind of behavior and were virtually compulsive liars. Pretty sad, no?
“So Mark, why didn’t you catch that sooner? Why didn’t you see right through them immediately, if you really have a link with the Lord?”
I wondered about that. Well, for one, I think the Lord may have even been pulling a fast one on the folks who thought they were pulling a fast one on me. All the while, “Christ was preached”. Like Paul said about some folks who were preaching the gospel but with contention and not sincerely, “nevertheless, Christ is preached.” (Philippians 1:18) In this case, these were people were coming as His sheep but they were not “without guile”. (John 1:47) But all the while I was sharing the Word of God with them and dealing with them honestly.
What do you do in situations like that? You could get mad at them for their dishonesty and evidently trying to trick you. You could get mad at yourself for being somewhat deceived and made a fool of. I’ve definitely felt that in some cases.
But it does help to have a deeper, higher view of it all. In the times this happened to me (it hasn’t been often), it’s been where I was honest and up front with these people, sharing my faith with them and in some situations trying to strengthen and establish in the faith some who were posing as Christians.
Were they Christians? Deep question. I you feel that folks have to be perfect in spirit to receive the Lord and become a Christian, you might say no. I do know that they all received a strong witness. They said they were Christians. I was sharing the Word with them, praying with them and in some situations having classes with them. It’s good to remember that obscure verse, “God’s Word does not return void. It accomplishes His purpose.” (Isiah 55:11)
Everyone will be accountable for the truth they’ve been shown and seen. It seems like some folks would almost rather hold on to their abilities (if we can call it that) to trick and deceive people. On the other hand, many who’ve dabbled in deep dishonesty and deception have thrown off that temptation when confronted with the pure truth and light of the love of God and His Word.
But for us who know Him, it’s good to remember that “Truth” is right up there with “Love”, when we’re talking about the things of God. Many of us know that “God is love.” (I John 4:8) But equally, Jesus said “I am … the truth..” (John 14:6) “Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” (John 18:37) We should extol, strive for and exalt truth in the same way and as much as we do love. Or so it seems to me.