I like it when people call it like it is even if it makes others uncomfortable. We live in an age where it’s not popular to put the truth out there if it makes someone uncomfortable, especially if it makes us uncomfortable. We tend to spin the truth or adjust it to meet the felt needs of our audience or tickle our own biases. The biggest problem arises when we start lying to ourselves.
Here’s an interesting fact that will twist your mind a little. When we lie to others we know it, but when we lie to ourselves we don’t know it. Isn’t that crazy? The reason self-deception is so deceptive is that we usually don’t know we’re doing it.
A woman in her forties once told me something that she had never told anyone before. It was a story of horrendous childhood abuse. She had kept it to herself for many years by telling herself that what happened to her was not that bad. Another woman had been in a dangerous marriage that threatened her life and she told herself that it wasn’t that bad. One businessman realized that he was presenting a false image of himself to his customers. I was the first person he admitted this to and when he realized the truth of his motivations, he sought to change them.
When these people stopped self-lying and told themselves the truth it brought them freedom and changed the course of their lives. The Prophet Isaiah said, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. (Is. 5:20)
The key is to love the truth even if it hurts. We can’t afford to play games with the truth; because the minute we start manipulating things, woe moves in. That means life won’t go well for us. When we try to deny the true nature of a thing by calling it the opposite of what it really is, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
The lie we buy into says if we face the truth we won’t survive it. Trusting God means rejecting the lie and embracing the truth. The next time you think about minimizing, rationalizing or covering up the bad by calling it good, you might want to think about all the negative consequences that you are inviting into your life. The truth does set us free when we begin to call it like it is. We become powerful, free and thrive when we pursue the truth of a matter. Call it like it is.