A couple of weeks ago, I was given an assignment by my boss. It was extremely time-sensitive, so he wanted me to jump on it quickly. Instead, I decided to finish writing a blog post, and then got started on it. A few minutes after finally starting on the assignment, he emailed me and asked how it was going. Knowing that I should have already started a while ago, I lied and replied that it was moving along, and that it shouldn’t take much longer. Of course, it did take quite a bit longer, since I had just started, but out of some sense of self-preservation I thought it best in a moment of quick decision making that I should make myself look more productive than I really was. I lied in order to keep from getting in trouble. And I immediately felt bad about it.
Why do we do this? When left to our own devices, why do we forfeit the truth for our own hand-crafted lies? In my situation, I was afraid of getting in trouble for not doing what I was supposed to do. Perhaps in another person’s case, they want to look good in someone else’s eyes, or they want to gain another advantage or avoid some other hardship. Whatever the reason, today most people tend to act like the Israelites in the times spoken of in Judges 21:25, when “everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
We live as though there are multiple truths* out there. There is God’s truth, which is given very explicitly in the Bible, and then there’s our own truth, which we tend to live by on a day to day basis. If you noticed, I put a star after the word truths in both the title and in the sentence that begins this paragraph. Quite honestly, there is no such word as truths. There is only one truth that exists in any situation. Perhaps a better word I could have used is the word ways. There are multiple ways to live, but there is only one truth by which we can compare our lives. God’s Word is absolute truth, and nowhere in Scripture will you find any reference to anything less than that. Man’s ways, on the other hand, are not that simple. Proverbs 14:12 says “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” When left to my own devices, the way that seems right to me at the time is probably not the right way. Every once in a while I may get it right, but my human nature will usually lead me to death. Only using the standards in Scripture will you find absolute truth. And only by living according to those standards will we find life.
The truth is the truth. And a lie is a lie is a lie. The path of truth is very narrow, while the path of lies is wide and easy to find. Jesus said “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14). When you have something small hidden among something large (think needle-in-a-haystack), it requires effort to find it. If we do things as they seem right at the time, we are following a broad path. But if we put forth the effort to know the truth as outlined in God’s Word, we’ll find the proverbial needle, and it will point right to a narrow little gate. And that gate leads to life.