Saturday, May 16, 2009

Can You Handle The Truth?

"I want the truth!"
"You can't handle the truth"

Do you remember the scene? Tom Cruise is hammering Jack Nicholson on the witness stand in the climax of the movie, "A Few Good Men." Tom Cruise is a young lawyer and Nicholson is a seasoned Marine of many years. Cruise is going after him with some heavy questioning and the tension in the court room gets so thick you could cut it with a knife. Nicholson of course the prideful man that he is, refuses to back down from this young punk and spills the truth pretty much convicting himself.

We live in a world much like that. One where the truth is so often hard to find. Much of the time its because we're not looking for it. We don't want to really know the truth. What so many of us want is someone to put a mask on it. Cover it up so we won't really have to face it. We walk through life with this crazy ideology that what we don't know won't hurt us. How many people do you know that are hesitant to go to the doctor for fear of what they might find? It's crazy isn't it?

On the show American Idol, Simon gets a lot of flack for being so rude. Sure, he could tone it down a bit, but I'm convinced much of that is for the cameras. Still, the fact remains he tells the truth. I can't believe how many young people show up who really think they can sing only to be heartbroken when they are told they can't. All their life, they've been convinced by people who don't want to hurt their feelings, that they can sing. I don't know about you, but I would rather somebody hurt my feelings before I get up in front of a crowd of people and make an absolute fool out of myself. When we coddle people, we do them a great injustice. Sure, we can determine to speak the truth in a much more pleasant way than Simon, but still we should speak the truth.

We live in a culture today that is so wrapped up in fear over hurting somebody's feelings. What is this crazy philosophy that is prevalent in our culture today that casts shame on those who might say something that offends another? We have a whole generation that has been coddled and God forbid we do anything or say anything that might upset another. Tell me, who does that help in the long run? Why is it that having a differing opinion so threatens people? So, someone disagrees with me, what's the big fuss. So many try so hard to be "politically correct" that they fail to be correct. They fail to be real or share how they truly feel or what they really think. And of course, we think that makes everything so much better.

We try so hard to walk on pins and needles in an effort to make sure nobody gets offended. Are there really people who get offended by a Christmas display of a baby lying in a manger? I mean really? That offends somebody? Or, worse yet saying Merry Christmas truly ticks somebody off? Or, God forbid someone disagrees with somebody else's lifestyle choice. Do we honestly believe that everyone is going to be down with everything we believe and how we do life? Come on! The truth is, we as a people need to grow up and quit wearing our emotions on our sleeves. No matter how you choose to live life, there are going to be those who oppose it.

As a believer, there are those who have never met me that already don't like me. Trust me, I won't lose sleep over it. There are those, both believers and non-believers, who disagree with some of my theology and life philosophy. Again, I won't lose sleep over it. There are very few people who's opinions matter to me. Yes, there are some, but not a great number. Trust me when I say, I am not in the least threatened by someone who believes different than I. I know what I believe and why I believe it.

My life's journey is a constant search for truth. I despise lies, half-truths, and deception. That could be why the older I get the less confidence I have in politicians, but that's a different topic altogether. Naturally, as a follower of Christ, my philosophy in life has been greatly influenced by Him and the Word of God. Because I believe God's Word to be true, I hold fast to it. If I believe Jesus to be the one and only true way, even if it's not "politically correct," why does that bother anybody? Why should anyone get up in arms about that? I'm simply holding true to what I believe to be truth. Does that really threaten people?

Could it be that those who it threatens aren't confident in what they themselves believe? There are all kinds of differing religions and philosophies, none of which threatens me in the least. Naturally, I believe that what I believe is right. And that's really the point isn't it? That everyone believes their way to be right? Which brings us back to the truth. Do we really want to know the truth? Or, do we just want to live our life in such a way that we just assume what we believe to be true? Can we really know the truth? I believe we can. I believe that whoever truly searches for the truth will find it. The real question is can you handle the truth? What if in a moment of time all that you've ever believed, you discovered to be nothing more than a carefully disguised deception? Do you continue in the deception or to you run with the truth? Believe it or not, many choose the false deception because that's what they are comfortable with.

It's like that crazy stringed quartet playing music on the deck of the Titanic while it's sinking. Or, it's like the religious leaders of Jesus day that determined to pay the guards at the tomb of Jesus to perpetrate a lie rather than face the music that they were wrong about him. After all, they would have to admit they crucified the Savior they had been praying God to send them. Much easier to continue in the deception, huh? Trust me when I say the truth is out there. You have to determine though if you can indeed handle the truth.

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