Picture a courtroom. Now envision a woman standing before judge and jury, placing one hand on the Bible and the other in the air, and making a pledge. For the next few minutes, with God as her helper, she will “tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”
She is a witness. Her job is not to expand upon nor dilute the truth. Her task is to tell the truth. Leave it to the attorneys to interpret, the jury to resolve, the judge to apply. The witness plainly speaks the truth—the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Throughout the Bible, we are called to the standard of truth-telling. Why? Because in telling the truth we reflect Jesus, for he said, “I am . . . the Truth” (John 14:6 NIV). Jesus was staunchly honest. Not once did Jesus stretch the truth. Not once did he shade the truth. Not once did he avoid the truth. He merely told the truth.
How do we tell the truth today?
Pursue the truth.
Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32 NIV). We must comprehend through diligent study and earnest prayer what God has graciously revealed in Scripture. Too many people are shallow, if not, ignorant of the biblical truth.
We must fill our minds with the truth of Scripture. We live in a culture that adheres to relativism, subjectivism, and pragmatism. We must make a concentrated effort to resist these influences by allowing our minds transformed by the truth of God’s Word. As we study and meditate on the riches of God’s revealed truth, we will know truth from error.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn was right when he observed, “Many of you have already found out, and others will find out in the course of their lives, that truth eludes us if we do not concentrate with total attention on its pursuit.”
Speak the truth.
The apostle Paul exhorted, “Each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor” (Eph. 4:25 NIV). I would encourage you to make the following commitment, “From this day forward I purpose in my heart, with the help of God, to speak only the truth, always and in every situation, for the rest of my life.” Such a commitment will inevitably improve our relationship with God and with everyone else.
Examine your heart. Ask some tough questions. Am I completely honest with my spouse and children? Does candor mark my relationships? Am I honest in my dealings in my business, at school, with friends?
Practice the truth.
If we are to proclaim the truth, we must live truthfully; otherwise, we are merely hypocrites.
Let’s take a test. Does my walk match my talk? Do people know me as an honest and trustworthy person? Can I be counted on? Do people trust me? Do I tell the truth, always?
The poem, “The Question,” asks a single question. As you read it, answer that question.
Were the whole world good as you—not an atom better—
Were it just as pure and true,
Just as pure and true as you;
Just as strong in faith and works;
Just as free from crafty quirks;
All extortion, all deceit;
Schemes its neighbors to defeat;
Schemes its neighbors to defraud;
Schemes some culprit to applaud—
Would this world be better?
If the whole world followed you—followed to the letter—
Would it be a nobler world,
All deceit and falsehood hurled
From it all together;
Malice, selfishness, and lust,
Banished from beneath the crust,
Covering human hearts from view—
Tell me, if it followed you,
Would the world be better?
Ralph Waldo Emerson was correct: “The greatest homage we can pay to truth is to use it.” Let’s start today telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.