Truth & Kindness

Truth . . . is it important?  This political season appears to be about “truth.”  We hear the word “lie” all the time on both sides of the political spectrum.  But, are we really wanting the truth?  And, where does truth come from?

For a few weeks I have been bothered by some statements I read on Facebook.  What is new with that?  Everyone is bothered by what someone is saying during this political time.  I will not state what was talked about in detail.  I see things all the time published that say things about Biden, and things about Trump.  I take them all with a grain of salt.  I am not sure anyone knows the truth any longer.

Anyway, the item on the internet this time was about President Trump.  It was something that they said he said, but taken out of context, taken from a different discussion about something else.  There were several people who were with him at the time he supposedly made the statement, and one of them, who is not a fan or friend of his, said that the president never said those comments.  He was with him that day, and that was a false report.  I tend to believe that when someone, who has no reason to support someone they are opposed, makes that kind of stand.  So, I did something I don’t normally do—I made a comment on this Facebook post that it was untrue, that even his non-supporter said it was untrue.  I was hoping the person who posted this would remove it.  What surprised me was not that it remained posted, but a comment replied to my comment.  Fortunately, it was from a person I do not know at all.  Here is the comment quoted verbatim:  “At this point does it even matter if it’s true? This is exactly the kind of thing he’s known for saying . . . .”   My reply was, “the truth ALWAYS matters.”

Does the truth always matter?  As a follower of Jesus, I think the truth always matters.  Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life . . . .”  ~John 14:6.  He also said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  Knowing truth sets me free.  I don’t have to live in fear.  There is a freedom in Christ that only those who have their faith in him can understand.  

As I look at what our media is saying, I just shake my head.  How do we know what is the truth?  How do we quit spewing falsehoods because it fits our narrative?  

I don’t listen or read the news very often.  I do listen to what people actually say, not just candidates, but people around me.  What is their source of truth?  Do we just believe something because it feels good?  Do we believe something because that is what we want it to be?  What is your standard for truth?  If it is just what you think is the thing because you like it, it fits what you want to believe—does truth change when you change?  Because we all change over time.  Why should I believe your truth today, and then five years from now your truth changes?  

For me truth is based in Scripture.  Did you know that there are over 5,000 manuscripts of the New Testament that were found by archeologists?  There are less manuscripts by Plato (only 5) describing Socrates (who never wrote anything—and Jesus never wrote anything), and yet people do not deny the existence or words of Socrates.  Interesting, isn’t it?  The gospels were written by eye witnesses to Jesus, what he did and what he taught.  They are from four different points of view, but none contradict the other.  God’s truth never changes.  He doesn’t change his mind.  He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

So, as I watch what is happening in my country—the election, the protests, people spouting whatever they believe is happening, I look at it though the eyes of truth.  I am human, and I make mistakes and may not see it as clearly as I should, but my source of truth will not change.  I have something I can rely on.

If I have to vote for someone based on what other people tell me that I should think, I have given my power to them.  Who are the candidates—what did they really say?  You won’t hear the private conversations unless they are on a “hot mic.”  Listen to what they say, not to what others say about them.  Then do your homework.  Did they do what they said they would do?  Our candidates both now have political records.  What is true?  What legislation did they actually put through?  What have they done?  Does it fit what we want to hear or not hear?  Does it fit what is true?  

What is really sad to me is that there are more than 2 candidates running for president, but our system silences their voices.  I believe if you are able to get on the ballots, you should be able to debate.  Why do you need a number of votes before you can be on the debate floor?  The debate is not an election.  Let’s hear from all of them—the good, the bad, the ugly, and the crazies!

Let’s seek truth.  I saw a Facebook post that said our vote is not a Valentine, for the person who we “love.”  We should be voting for the person who we believe will take us where we want to be as a country.  We should know if what we want is based on a truth.

What happened to “agree to disagree”?  Why does someone have to get in my face to tell me what they think of me because I disagree with them?  Some say they did not get in my face, but writing something about how you feel about someone who thinks differently (and it is a judgmental statement) is “getting in my face.”  Why does one have to cry out all their thoughts about what they think of other people on the other side to make their point?  Where is that word “tolerance” — which seems to be in no one’s vocabulary any longer.  

Tell me what is good about your candidate?  Tell me why you think they deserve a vote.  Don’t tell me why you hate the other candidates.  Don’t tell me what you think of me because I don’t agree.  

I pray everyday that we will love one another.  I don’t see a lot of love.  The Golden Rule, which is actually something Jesus taught us, says, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” ~Matthew 6:31. Do you want people to disparage you for your beliefs?  Same goes here.  It would be great if we can at least follow the golden rule, and not only treat others, but also speak about others as you wish them to speak about you.  Hmm.  Food for thought.

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