My four-year-old has a very vivid imagination and coming from a family of intellectuals and creatives, my wife and I try to allow space for his imagination to go free. He is an extremely intelligent little guy who, despite a late birthday would probably be the top of a kindergarten class right now.
Within the last few weeks, however, my wife and I started noticing some tendencies toward stretching the truth. Stretching like in terms of Stretch Armstrong. Take for instance my two-year-old would be in his crib and the fridge door would be open and somehow the two-year-old mysteriously got out of the crib, opened the fridge door and got back in the crib. Or the family is sitting in a room and our four-year-old raises up and breaks wind and blames it on our 9-month-old. He says these things even though everyone sees what really happened. We are working on this now so that it won't become a problem later.
But as we look around at the world around us, we find a lot of people and situations that seem to be willfully bound by untruth. We could go at length about the numerous examples, but for the sake of brevity, we will not. There is a difference between being willfully and un-willfully bound by untruth. Being un-willfully bound by a lie is spouting information or assuming something that one was told, but once they gained a better understanding they let go of the untruth. Being willfully bound comes when one refuses to shift their perception or narrative based on the information and evidence they receive and they allow for the untruth to remain.
Jesus taught his disciples in John chapter 8, the truth will set them free and the origin of every lie is the devil. I am a proponent that the devil is in most ways Ego. In almost every instance, a lie serves the ego of the person telling it. The liberating effect of truth is that it allows you to move your mental and physical energies to areas that actually matter. My mother once told me that when you tell one lie, you have to tell three more to cover the one you told before. This is some intense mental strain that could have been used in a more constructive manner.
I, at times, find it fascinating that in what sometimes seems like a majority evangelically Christian society how some of the foundational aspects of the faith seem to be pushed the farthest away. We have scripture that admonishes to not bear false witness and nursery rhymes about little chickens and falling skies for our young, but as adults we willfully accept untruth. We have laws that dictate that truth is paramount, but accept that it is not.
By being willfully bound to untruth we place ourselves at risk for symptoms of mental illness, but it lends itself more often to unnecessary fear and anxiety. This fear and anxiety can then lead to paranoia. Scripture tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7 that God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-discipline. It is imperative to our mental health, relationships, and lives to allow ourselves to be free from untruth. Don't allow yourself to hold on to things that are not true. Think on things that are true, lovely and of good report.
This week, live in truth and don't accept fallacy. Purge your life and surroundings of falsehoods and perjury. Lies create harm not only to the person telling them, but to the people they are told to. Show that you authentically care and be honest because love rejoices in the truth. Break free and throw away the chains of untruth that seek to enslave your thoughts and actions. Do good, do no harm, and stay in love with the divine.
Rev. E. Chip Owens is a graduate of the Gammon Theological Seminary on the Historic Campus of the Interdenominational Theological Center. He has served as a Senior Pastor in the Covington Area. He is a well sought after preacher and Author that has had the pleasure of sharing the gospel nationwide.