Truth Hurts


Have you ever noticed that? I remember once in college, we had elections for … something. I learned the results—a friendly acquaintance of mine, who a number of us thought was a sure winner, lost.

Soon after, I saw her in the dining commons, a look of hope and expectation on her face. What was I to do? Look away, pretending I hadn’t seen her or pretending I didn’t know?

I left my place and went over to the table and told her. At first she thought I was joking. When I told her how I came to know, she was stunned … and hurt, in part hurt because I’d told her. She didn’t want to hear the truth because it clashed with her expectations.

I read yesterday and this morning from Jeremiah about the people of Israel, after defeat at the hands of the Babylonians, going to the prophet and asking him to tell them what God wanted them to do. They promised so sincerely that they would abide by whatever Jeremiah would say.

But eight days later when he reported God’s word to them—to stay in Judah and not flee to Egypt—they claimed he was not speaking for God at all and headed off for Egypt. They didn’t want to hear the truth because it didn’t align with their plans.

The truth does hurt. Not always, of course, but God says some truth things about Himself that we don’t want to accept because they hurt our preconceived image of Him. The truth hurts.

For example, God says in parable that He is letting the grain and the weeds grow up together, then at harvest time He’ll sort it all out, throwing the weeds into the fire. Some people want Him to cut the weeds out now and when He doesn’t, they accuse Him of being unjust. Others don’t want Him to ever throw the weeds into the fire. They accuse Him of being unloving. Or … some simply disregard God’s words about Himself, because the truth hurts.

It’s as if living with the lie somehow is more comfortable, as if pretending that things were as we had imagined, made it so. That might even be some people’s definition of faith—if I just believe hard enough, I can wish it into existence.

The truth is, faith doesn’t manufacture anything. Faith is having assurance of what already is. Faith believes the truth, even when it hurts. Faith believes in God as He reveals Himself, not as we wish He were.

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A couple announcements. A CSFF Blog Tour Member Valerie Comer is holding a contest on her blog for a copy of Sue Dent’s recent release Never Ceese, described as a dark fantasy (borderline horror). If you’re interested in reading Valerie’s response to the book or in entering the contest, I encourage you to stop by her site.

Speaking of blog tours, next week we begin the tour for Kathryn Mackel’s Trackers, the concluding book in her Birthrighters Series. Have I mentioned how I love blog tours? 😉

Published in: on December 8, 2006 at 11:30 am  Comments (10)  
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