I was recently perusing social media when I came across a statement purporting to be a quote by a prominent Republican Presidential candidate. Now, I don’t generally spend much time or energy in the political realm, but this statement caught my attention for a number of reasons. One reason was that the statement was so oddly harsh toward the candidate’s own party as to be ridiculous, but another reason was the large number of Christians I knew and mostly trusted who were sharing this statement as fact.
Though I at first moved on and turned my thoughts to other things, I eventually gave in to the thoughts nagging at the back of my mind and decided to do a little fact checking. Very little effort quickly revealed that, sure enough, the statement was a hoax. Now, there is certainly nothing shocking about fake quotes on the internet nor am I naïve enough to believe I have always been able to detect these hoaxes as easily. In fact, the only reason I share this incident is because it got me to thinking about the virtue of honesty. For a Christian, few things should be more important than being truthful. After all, it is through “speaking the truth in love” that we can grow into mature Christlikeness (Eph 4:15).
Admittedly, I more often than not find myself addressing believers about the need to be loving in their speech, but on this occasion I feel compelled to ask my brothers and sisters to be certain that they are speaking truth. As Christians, we claim to know the one who is “the way the TRUTH and the life.” We say that we follow the “Word of TRUTH.” We proclaim the Gospel as TRUTH and we belong to a kingdom of TRUTH. And yet, when it comes to issues of this earthly kingdom (in which we are merely temporarily passing through) we are willing to compromise our position of truth and use the fleshly tools of lies and deception to get our way or persuade public opinion. May this not be so in the body of Christ. I pray that we can stand up for what is right without compromising truth.
We are blessed to live in a nation where we can participate in government and we are blessed as well with numerous platforms to share our opinions, concerns and positions. I encourage all Americans to take advantage of these blessings. Be involved in social and political issues if you feel led. Be bold as you stand up for what is right and for what you believe. Just make sure that as you stand, you are being truthful because greater than any political position you may hold is the position you hold in the family of God. And His family is all about the truth!