Fall In Love
I love the fall season. In the southern US, the coming of fall feels rejuvenating. The heat and humidity begin to drop so I can breathe without feeling like I am under water. The mosquitoes go to ground. The gorgeous colors of fall are so enjoyable, the air is fresh and moves again, and I can find pumpkin spice anything. And, of course, Saturday “church” at the altar of SEC football returns (come on, you know that’s a thing!) To me, fall is a season of beauty and joy. That’s why I love the fall.
Don’t Forsake Your First Love
But Revelation warns us about forsaking our first love. Do we love the truth with as much vigor and excitement as we love our experiences? To love the truth is to love Jesus, because Jesus is the truth (John 14:6). Yet, we claim that we love Jesus while we turn our backs on the truth in exchange for such things as acceptance from others, safety and ease for ourselves, and self-justification for our feelings. So do we actually love the truth? When it comes down to it, do we put truth first above all other values?
Here are some of the ways we have forgotten our first love.
- We explain away our agreement to lie to others, by commission or omission, as socially acceptable, not wanting to upset anyone else, even claiming it is Christian to keep our mouths shut if what we would say may bother someone.
- We justify our agreement to lie to ourselves because the lies “feel” true to us. It gives us a reason to deflect responsibility and remain a victim.
- We find it “hard” to embrace the truth
- We abdicate our personal authority to choose truth to external forces like other people’s opinions or cultural norms, leaving us like “infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.” (Ephesians 4:14)
- We believe shame, fear, and self-debasement and reject Scriptural teachings contradicting these beliefs (Romans 8:1, I John 4:18, Psalm 139:13-14).
Truth is highly valued in the Kingdom of God. The word, “truth,” is mentioned over 100 times in the New Testament alone. Jesus overtly stated, over and over again, “I tell you the truth” as He was teaching a new idea or Kingdom concept. Truth and freedom are inextricably bound together, and we cannot have one without the other (John 8:32). Satan, the enemy of God, is identified as “the father of lies” (John 8:44). The “belt of truth” is the first weapon mentioned in the armor of God, and as such it is the one item that holds all other weapons in place (Ephesians 6:14). These things let us know we are to love the truth, and lies are the weapon of the enemy. Yet, we still hold onto lies in our hearts, and we willingly invite Satan to come against us by openly lying, omitting, obfuscating, doubting, and giving in to deception.
If we realized truth is our oxygen and that without it we are drowning, we would do anything necessary to get rid of those lies and breathe in truth like a Southerner taking in the fresh fall air. If we viewed lie beliefs as the actual poison they are, we would be diligent and persevering in pursuing and embracing truth in all things and at all times. If I handed you a bowl of nuclear waste to drink, you would run screaming into the wilderness to get away from me. The evil one, however, simply calls the nuclear waste of his deceptions something sweet, and we willingly drink it up.
I encourage you to re-frame your understanding of truth. See lies as poison, as death, as drowning. See truth as air. See truth as freedom. See truth as Jesus and remember your first love.