“Oh, I only had one cup of coffee today.”
Friends, a love of the whole truth is the only prerequisite for true freedom. But do we really love the whole truth? Or have we become more comfortable with half truths?
“Oh, I just want the truth,” we say. Then we grab onto the closest thing that agrees with the half truth we already have accepted…for whatever reason. Nevertheless, we have to dig deep on all sides of a deeply rooted shrub or sign post to see what it’s rooted in. Upon more thorough investigation, is it soaking in a stream of intoxication or pure water?
I learned acceptance of half truth early on at the feet of two dedicated alcoholics. They would pour half a high ball glass full of scotch, drop in two ice cubes and call it “one drink.”
“I’m not like my alcoholic brother,” I’d hear, as I fanned away the stench of half truth. “I only had one cocktail tonight.” For years, I used that half truth formula to justify myself.
Yet, as I learn the freedom of even painfully uncomfortable truth, I have to tell myself when I’m tempted: “Remember the song: ‘Stop, in the Name of Love’? When does 2 = 1 and 4 = 2? You’re not unique. We are all given to please our flesh (appetite, emotions, etc.). But you will not only seriously hurt yourself over time but others. Is that what you really want? Then that’s what you’ll get.”
Sticking with the coffee cup analogy (but meaning much more), let’s look for a solution. If we’re going to have four cups in a row, even though acidity breeds cancer, we can begin to free ourselves by merely calling it four cups…and drink away! At least that is progress, though not perfection. Half truths, be gone. We’re hurting ourselves and others with our eyes wide open. Already uncomfortable, yes, but we changed nothing except the whole truth we now accept.
It may surprise us to see this small step is when that whole truth begins to free us all by itself. We’ll take the next step then and really care about our health and the people who still need us. We’ll reap what we sow.
Then, step by step, we move on to other issues, like too much negativity, unbridled anger, etc. A little negativity is great for balance. Anger is emotional healthy. Too much of either is destruction.
Hopefully, we’ll stop returning the same to those who bash and hate and destroy with their words and actions, as if freedom is licentiousness, as if two is really one, as if respect is obsolete. Hopefully we’ll stop childish rebellion against godly parental discipline by binging on sugar and swear words “now that we are in control.” Hopefully, we’ll mature enough to endure the difficult and uncomfortable challenges of loving, even ourselves.
The whole truth? I can only change myself. Right now, as I stare out the window at the dried up leaves on green grass, I squeeze my lips shut so all the leftover sarcasm in me dies, and I sip from the peace, courage, and wisdom of the Serenity Prayer.
That, dear friends, is the path to true freedom.
I’ve left a poignant demonstration in the short video below
to help us see the reality of what we are talking about here.
“…because they refused the love of the truth that would have saved them.”
2 Thessalonians 2:10