Being truthful—I mean, really truthful—in any and every situation is hard .

Of course, Jesus did it and, as his image bearers, so should we.

But speaking the truth also got Jesus killed, so is it any wonder we sometimes have a love-hate relationship with embracing truth?

Because of our sinful natures, our default is to run from the light (John 3:19). In the West, we are continuously bombarded with direct and indirect messages from the media, family, friends, and coworkers to conform to the world and resist being absolutely honest.

And there’s always a “good” reason for fudging the truth:

  • “It’s not that important.”
  • “It’s not the right time.”
  • “I don’t want to hurt their feelings.”
  • “They’re too young [or too old] to understand.”
  • “I should be able to handle this myself.”
  • “I’m afraid they’ll be mad [or sad].”
  • “I feel dumb, foolish or embarrassed.”

But the reality is we can’t have a healthy relationship with anyone without trust. And trust is built on truth. We can make all the excuses we want for why we didn’t say “it”, but the reason we don’t speak the truth is quite simply because we are—every last one of us—selfish and prideful (Romans 3:23). Too often, we’re more concerned about protecting our image than we are about being obedient to God regardless of the consequences.

Choosing sides

There are people called epistemologists who make a living defining truth. They write volumes (or lengthy webpages) about it. They say it’s elusive and subjective because they don’t want to choose a side: It’s light or it’s dark, it’s black or it’s white, it’s good or it’s evil. Which essentially means us admitting we’re light or dark, black or white, good or evil. Instead, we want to be politically correct and live in the gray space between black and white. We want to be Switzerland.

But Jesus didn’t live life in the gray. He was and is the Truth, absolute honesty and integrity. He challenges everyone to choose a side when he said: “No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6) and when he told Pilate, “Everyone on the side of truth listens to me” (John 18:37).

To Jesus, the math is simple.

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About the author: Kim is the founder of Hope for Spouses, a program that helps spouses find healing in the wake of adultery or sexual addiction.