I can’t remember where I heard this a few weeks ago, but wherever it was, I can’t stop thinking about it: The reason people refuse to face the truth is because it will cost them.
That is probably one of the most profound things I have heard in a very, very long time.
All of us have heard the excuses. But the bottom line, in most cases, is that facing the truth will cost something we don’t want to pay. And, many times, most of us don’t consider the greater cost at the end of the line.
I thought of this the other day when I watched a movie. It was an unrealistic, poorly cast movie about a couple who had adopted a little girl from an Eastern European country. In a few weeks, the wife came across some clues that this child was probably not an under-privileged child growing up in an orphanage, but instead a child maliciously stolen from her loving mother. As she dug further, she became sure that this was the case and went to a federal agent. At one point in their conversation the agent looked this brave woman in the eye and told her that the outcome for this would not be good for her. The child would most likely be reunited with her biological mother and she would go back to a life of waiting for a baby to become available. This was the time that she could choose to look the other way and move on with her new life of motherhood. No one would be the wiser. She could go home, treat this child as her own, and be a happy family.
Fortunately for the child’s real mother, this woman had the character and the courage to do what would cost her the most. She faced the truth.
Oh, she and her husband tried to rationalize keeping the baby for a few moments: The baby would have a better life in America and they could give her so many privileges and opportunities that she would never have in her country. But when the decision had to be made, they bravely did the right thing.
Would we have done the same?
I would like to think so. But sometimes we can’t even face our teenagers. Our spouses. Our friends. Our bosses.
Most of us walk right by truth and try hard to ignore it. Consider these examples–
–Our child wants to do something which we know is not a good idea. We will often cave because the cost (them being mad at us or screaming “I hate you!”) is not a price we are willing to pay.
–We find out our boss or a co-worker is dishonest. We will often ignore it because the cost (getting embroiled in drama, being harassed, or losing our job) is not worth it.
Many times, we can’t even face ourselves. Because to look at ourselves honestly is to see a sinner. And most of us do not want to see that. Even if we are saved and came to that conclusion a long time ago, we don’t want to be reminded of it over and over again.
And so we just live as if everything is just fine. Except everything is not fine.
There are a few of us who wisely look down the road and see if we don’t face the truth now, it will cost us in the end and so we do face the truth head-on –at least in the things that affect us personally.
But when it comes to a boss (who cares?) or our church (it’s none of my business) or a friend (it’s their life) we are much less apt to be willing to stick our noses in.
We often don’t have enough love for our co-workers and friends and church family to do what will help them the most because of the cost to ourselves.
And, honestly, I’ll grant you this: it takes a lot of tact, careful words, kindness, love, and, most of all, courage, to speak the truth, even when it’s going to hurt our reputations or affect our comfort level.
But perhaps being able to see ourselves and the world honestly and then being willing to act on what we see is one of the most courageous and vital things we can do. Instead, many–if not most–of us have been molded by our culture to shy away from it. We have also been scared by our culture and what happens to people who stand for truth–especially for God’s Truth.
We don’t have to be a preacher to share God’s Truth, we just have to know it (by knowing His Word) and then share it and stand for it. It’s that simple. But it’s that difficult.
But let’s always remember this: The price we pay for speaking truth may be very, very dear. And through the journey we may have many questions. But God faithfully and lovingly cares for us when we do the right thing. Always. He comes alongside those who stand for what is right in a way that sometimes seems even miraculous. Yes, it is difficult, but God is faithful and it is worth it.