Thursday, March 14, 2019

Asking for Trust While Lying Through Your Teeth

One of the frustrations of the political season is that, unless you completely tune out all forms of media, you have to listen daily to public figures asking for our trust while lying to our faces. From every side during the political season we are lied to and winked at because people are more interested in winning and advancing their own ideas than they are invested in the truth. We're told one candidate didn't really help create jobs (just don't look at the first several years of his tenure, shh). We're told one candidate hated a particular group of people (just don't look at who he actually appointed, ok). We're told one candidate's "scandals" are all phony because there's no proof (just ignore the massive piles of evidence because they were collected by people from a different party).  We're given so many half-truths and outright lies, so much propaganda and spin, so many scare tactics and straw men, that it is hard not to become very angry all the time if you really pay attention. After all, the goal in politics is getting your candidate elected and advancing your political ideology. It's about winning, not the truth.

This tendency to sacrifice the truth for one's own gain is neither new nor confined to politics. We even see an example of it in Matthew 28. The Jewish ruling council had condemned Jesus for blasphemy and convinced Pilate to crucify him, even having an official seal placed on the tomb in which Jesus was buried. But when the soldiers guarding the tomb reported that Jesus had risen from the dead, complete with an earthquake and angel appearances, the priests and elders gave the soldiers a large sum of money and told them, “Say this, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole Him while we were sleeping.’ If this reaches the governor’s ears, we will deal with him and keep you out of trouble” (Matthew 28:12-14, HCSB).

At this point, the priests and elders should have been jumping for joy. Jesus really was the Messiah. God had answered the prayers of his people and sent a savior. They should have been running to Jesus and falling down before him begging for forgiveness. But instead, they disregarded the truth because it didn't fit their agenda and meant they had been on the wrong side. Sadly, they demonstrated that they were more interested in winning, in maintaining their superiority, than in the truth.

But before we start judging the priests and elders, we should take a hard, long look at ourselves. How often do we ignore certain facts because we don't know how to counter them and still be right? How often do we pretend scripture doesn't address a particular activity or attitude because we enjoy it too much or because quitting would be difficult and inconvenient? How often do we only pass on a portion of the truth because the whole truth would makes us look bad or expose our errors?

When we find ourselves engaging in these kinds of activities, we prove ourselves to be more invested in an idea, in winning, or in keeping what we have than in the truth. As a result, we begin living a lie, knowing that we're wrong, knowing that we simply won't admit it. In the end, living a lie sears our consciences until we no longer care. And that should scare us.

Don't put your ideas, ideologies, politics or position above the truth. If we've been on the wrong side of an issue, it is better to swallow our pride and switch sides than to live a lie.

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