Conflicting voices are swirling all around us. He’s lying! No, she is. Caught in the midst of craziness, we wonder which voice is telling the truth. Or does it even matter?
It’s interesting how a book comes along at the right time, just when we need it. In the early 1980s, psychiatrist M. Scott Peck’s “The Road Less Travelled” was such as book.
On the bestseller’s list for many weeks, it not only helped us to understand mental and spiritual growth, but also gave us tools to solve our problems, thus reducing pain in our lives.
Commitment to truth
Dr. Peck found that if we are to enjoy good mental health, we must be committed to truth—no matter the cost. Since we live in a real world, he reasoned, we must come to understand the reality of the world as best we can. Otherwise we will make both personal and national decisions based on false beliefs, distortions, deceptions—and outright lies. And these decisions will affect our lives for many years.
Truth refers to what is real, genuine, honest, not concealing anything. Truth is reality, the quality of being true to life, not merely seeming, pretending, imagining. It’s authentic, absolute, essential, and ultimate.
Opposite of truth is falsehood, that which is unreal, not genuine or authentic. When we believe something that is not true, we call it a lie. Telling the truth means that we avoid such distortions as lies, fictions, or misrepresentations, and instead keep close to the facts or to things as they really are.
Although post-modern constructionists say there is no such thing as absolute truth, the Bible emphasizes the importance of truth: Truth will make us free (John 8:32), whereas lying will cause us to wither and dry up. (Proverbs 19:9)
King Solomon, one of the wisest men, said: “Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart so you will find favor and good report.” (Proverbs 3:3-4)
Lies affect our physical and mental health
Research verifies this. Our commitment to truth―be open to truth, receive truth, think truth, speak truth — deeply impacts both our psychological and spiritual health.
According to a University of Notre Dame University study, honesty benefits us physically and mentally. When study participants told three fewer minor lies, they had an average of four fewer mental-health complaints, such as feeling tense or melancholy. They also experienced three fewer physical complaints, such as sore throats or headaches.
One of the roots of emotional ills and neuroses (anxiety, panic, depression, compulsions, phobias) is an interlocking system of lies we believe. Being very conflicted adds an inordinate amount of stress to our lives. A professor at Loyola University in Chicago says, “When you find that you don’t lie, you have less stress.”
Deceiving others also affects our sense of well-being. If we tell white lies, exaggerate, stretch the truth, or exhibit any other type of falsehood, it causes something negative to happen within us.
The founder of an addiction treatment program for physicians said to me, “We cannot help anyone if he or she does not have the capacity for psychological honesty—to be totally honest with themselves and with others about their lives.”
Lack of honesty destroying fabric of America
One of the core values in our country has always been our word. Our word meant something. If we gave our word, it could be trusted. Our word reveals who and what we are.
Today the word of our leaders has been undermined so badly that nobody trusts anybody. We have lost our trust with many of our politicians, preachers and priests, pundits, and the media. As basic trust is being destroyed, the fabric that holds America together is unravelling. Many Romanian friends have told me what it was like growing up in a country where you could trust no one: You learned to stay silent and close your heart to people around you — praying that the secret police would not come knocking on your door.
Each of us must watch over our words to make sure they are honest. Is your word trustworthy?
We were made for truth
We are made in the image of God, and He cannot lie. (Hebrews 6:18) We are called to be like Him, to be people of the truth. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, to help us become a genuine and authentic person, filled with truth, rather than lies. (John 14:16-17)
The Holy Spirit also causes us to recognize when somebody is lying to us ... if we learn to pay attention to our spiritual senses. We must pray: “Lord God, I need the Holy Spirit. Please fill me with Your Spirit today. Make me aware of my spiritual senses, so I can recognize lies.”
To learn more about the Holy Spirit, see my blog post: https://judithdoctor.com/bible-study-what-does-the-holy-spirit-want-to-do-for-you/
Judith Doctor, RN, MSW, is an Arcadian author, speaker, and spiritual life mentor. President of Kairos Ministries, her live broadcasts can be heard monthly on Radio Horeb in Europe. Her books on dreams and forgiveness are available on Amazon and other online booksellers. firstname.lastname@example.org