We are in a process right now where the candidates for President of the United States are making themselves known. The Democrats are in control of the White House. So the Republican field of candidates is very full, and busy, and vocal. They are separating themselves from the opposition, which right now is the President, the two or three candidates from the other party, and also those in their own party.
Each person has their own style, but there is a common theme among the main contenders. They are pressing the idea that they are speaking truth. When most of the government is dealing in lies, it is incredibly refreshing to hear someone actually say what is real. It is so rare, that people even love to hear crazy stuff if it is delivered in a way that opposes the lies being cranked out by the ‘establishment’. Truth has become a phenomenon. We are engaged by it. Some are enamored with it. Many are even entertained by it.
Regardless of how truth is received, in this day the truth will set you apart. It is sad that there is such a dividing line, but perhaps that is the way it should be. When we mingle lies with truth the lies end up taking over. Truth doesn’t mingle… it divides.
Jesus, when praying for His disciples actually dealt with the idea that they should be different… that they should stand out in the culture. And He knew that truth would be the element that would cause them to stand apart. Here is what He said…
“I have given them Your word. The world hated them because they are not of the world, as I am not of the world. I am not praying that You take them out of the world but that You protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. I sanctify Myself for them, so they also may be sanctified by the truth.” (John 17:14-19)
Jesus is the Truth. He claimed that about Himself, and He proved that through His life. He knew the power of truth and lies. He actually had to sacrifice Himself because His creation had forsaken the truth and gone after a lie. So when He prays here that His disciples, who are hated by the world would be “sanctified by the truth”, He was saying that the Father should fill them with reality to the point that they stand out from the culture because they are obvious carriers of what is true.
The truth will ‘sanctify’ us, or set us apart. The truth may not be popular, but it is revolutionary. While it may be resisted by those who enjoy their wickedness, it is refreshing to those who are weary of the lies. It is rewarding to those who are seeking a better way. It is relevant to those who just don’t believe that alternate realities.
Sometimes we do crazy stuff to set ourselves apart. There is no reason to do that when we have the truth. Let it do what it does. It will cause people to engage, be enamored… and yes, even entertain them. We don’t have to turn our lives and ministries into a circus. We just have to let the truth pour out of us. Trust it. Let it do its work.
The story is told of the town atheist who would go to church every Sunday and sit quietly in the back row of the church. The preacher preached the Gospel every week. After the sermon the well-known atheist would get up and slip out. One Sunday sister Gladys caught him before he made it to the door. She told him she was glad he always came, but wondered, “Why do you come? It is known that you do not believe in God. Why do you attend church? You don’t believe a word the pastor says.” He nodded and smiled, “No… I don’t believe a word he says. But he does. And once a week I want to hear someone say what they really believe.”
Today you will have a chance to parrot the lie and fit in, or you can choose to speak the truth and be relevant… weird, but relevant. One of the things that separates God’s people is that they are truth-bearers. The truth purifies and sets Christians apart. That is rare and wonderful.
[Bible quotes are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, unless otherwise noted.]
Find more of David’s work at Heart Of Ministry.
My name is David, and I want to know God more, and help other people find Him.