Make truth-telling real again because it matters — all the time
By Clay Perkins
Saturday, October 13, 2018
“All you need to say is simply ‘yes’ or ‘no’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” — Matthew 5:37 (The Bible, New International Version)
I bet he is regretting it now. Did you see it? In the recent hurricane coverage, a television reporter was hunkering down for the storm. It appeared to the camera that he was barely hanging on for his life in the heavy winds. But unknown to the reporter, two guys were seen leisurely strolling by in the background.
Perhaps you remember from a few years ago, during another storm, when a female reporter was in a kayak struggling to stay afloat in one place while reporting on the severe weather. And then a gentleman walked by her glancing over with a bewildered look, in ankle-deep water.
Why? Want to see the videos? Just do a simple web search.
In the cases above, what a shame. Lives were in jeopardy. Real people suffered from genuine dangers. Lives and property were lost. Those in trouble needed real information, not bogus information.
The sad reality is, this is not an isolated tactic of those who report the weather. In the political arena both major parties often play footloose and fancy free with reality. Both embellish and manipulate the truth to serve their own partisan agendas. They are often playing the public for fools. Do they really think that we do not see it?
The need to impress beyond reality is too often found in all types of relationships: business, social, churches, friends, etc. Even in the intimacy of family, we often fail to present truth in an honest way. When will we learn?
We humans often feel the need to exaggerate our reality. Why? Do we desire to be more important than we are? Do we really think people will be hoodwinked? Do people deserve the simple truth? Is our self-esteem that low? Why do we need to present things bigger than they are?
There are some golden rules to guide us in speaking the truth. Speaking truth in the right way at the right time will be, for those who hear it, like apples of gold on a plate of silver (Proverbs 25:11). In truth, unadulterated truth, we are free (John 8:32). Think of the listener. Will they benefit from what you are about to say (Ephesians 4:29), and will you too, for that matter? Truth can hurt, so always speak it in love (Ephesians 4:15). Being kind, and not calling names, is always best and will prevent those who hear from responding with rage (Proverbs 15:1).
When we let our “yes” be yes, and our “no” be no, we, and those around us, are better off. Being plain spoken is savvy. Let’s make truth real again. Let’s make truth honest. Truth matters — all the time.
D. Clay Perkins is an adjunct professor at Mid-Atlantic Christian University. The opinions expressed in this column belong to the author and may not be those of MACU.