For Our Own Sake, We Tell the Truth - Encouragement for Today - June 17, 2020

Carrie LloydJune 17, 2020

For Our Own Sake, We Tell the Truth
CARRIE LLOYD

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“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24 (NKJV)

I must be honest; it’s taken me some time to embrace truth.

The truth of others toward me, the truth of myself when I would prefer to believe my own pretense. It’s safer there. At times, truth has felt so aggressive. Ungentle. Blunt and harsh in its reality. Truth didn’t feel Christian; it felt unkind.

Being British didn’t help — for my culture preferred to sweep truth under the Persian rug and fill the awkward silence with a cup of Earl Grey.

How often I wanted to “Proverbs 4:23” my heart, guarding it, sprinting away as if the truth wanted to hunt or hurt me. I created a façade that said my day was fine, that I wasn’t in pain, that I wasn’t scared — whatever I needed to say to belong to society, to God even, I said it.

I used chameleon methods that were lying to myself, leaving unresolved solutions to my unsatisfactory life.

Within the storms many of us have recently faced, I know I am not alone. All that is coming to the surface in this silence, or the chaos, feels antagonistic: the dreams yet to be fulfilled, the relationship that isn’t as paradisiacal as it might appear. Before quarantine, distractions could divert our eyes from truth. But how helpful were our normal aversions? In every moment we hid, we missed an opportunity to learn the beauty of God.

John 4 reminds me of the finest truth-teller that ever lived. Our Lord never avoided honest conversations. He reveled in them. Why else would He make space and wait upon the hottest hour of the day for a woman who was already outcast by society? He seeks the honest ones.

Within this dialogue, I discovered a golden nugget that would help me embrace the power of truth forever.

Even if it stung.

I always wondered why, when it came to the Samaritan woman, did Jesus ask her to fetch her husband? Especially when He already knew she’d had five husbands, and the one she lived with was not her husband?

Jesus wasn’t trying to shame her, nor put her in her place. He’s not a rebel of his own teachings; He’s a master of them.

Instead, He wanted to see if she was owning her own truth, her own choices. He wanted to see if she was the kind of soil He could sow into. Hungry enough for wisdom, versus protecting her own ego. She didn’t tell Him what she thought He’d want to hear. She didn’t defend. She simply replied, “I have no husband” (John 4:17b, NKJV).

In that you spoke truly,” He replied (John 4:18, NKJV). For true worship, according to our Lord, was coming: “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24).

Can we ever worship Him if we’re not walking in truth? We’re missing an opportunity to discover the wonder of His freedom and missing out on life itself.

In the great strength of His undying, never-going-to-leave-you love, we have no excuse to run, but every reason to hold onto His hope for us.

For it was there I truly began to grow, where the Persian rug was picked up and shaken outside. I found true stillness in the freedom of His truth. I got honest about my fears of abandonment. Honest about my legalism. I stopped numbing myself to conviction and celebrated the fact that He could trust me with His truth. I finally built trust with myself and my friends. The cost of denial outweighed the power of His voice living authentically through me.

Today, I’d rather face the sting of my truth than the dull ache of denial, for the distance between God and me was too brutal to bear.

It was in this divine appointment between the Samaritan Woman that I learned truth isn’t repulsive; it’s revelatory.

The most freeing worship we could ever know.

Dear Jesus, remind me of the beauty of truth, a worship that sings lullabies in Your ears. That in my own shortcomings You strengthen me. Help me be compassionate to those who hand me truth, and help me speak truth through grace. Help me reject shame so I can hear clearly Your wisdom in every daily struggle. You are the great comforter who believes in me more than I do. Thank You for always leading me toward the light, even when I want to hide in the dark. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
John 8:32, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (NKJV)

Psalm 26:3, “For Your loving kindness is before my eyes, And I have walked in Your truth.” (NKJV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Do you ever wonder who you are, why you are here, and what really makes life worth living? If you’re ready to be done pretending or want to find out more about leading a life of integrity, grab a copy of The Noble Renaissance: Reclaiming the Lost Virtue of Nobility by Carrie Lloyd.

CONNECT:
Catch more of the truth on Episode 29: The Truth Tellers from The Carrie On Podcast with Carrie Lloyd.

Enter to WIN your very own copy of The Noble Renaissance by Carrie Lloyd. To celebrate this book, Carrie’s publisher will give away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and then notify each one in the comments section by Monday, June 22, 2020.}

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What are some truths in your own life you’ve been avoiding, about yourself or someone else?

Are there any areas in your life you’re numbing? With gentleness, identify what those things are, and ask the Lord what to do with those truths.


Carrie Lloyd is an author, podcaster and leader at Bethel Church, and lives in Hollywood, California. Follow @carriegracey on Twitter and Instagram.

© 2020 by Carrie Lloyd. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Emanate Books, an imprint of Thomas Nelson and division of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

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