14 March 2017
The truth is kind of a tricky thing to handle. On the one hand, who doesn’t like to be right? It feels good to be convinced about the truth of something. It’s an empowering thing to know that “I’m right;” that “I am a voice for what is true.” It feels great to be an instrument of the truth. But, on the other hand, it can be a blow to the ego to be on the receiving end of the truth.
And so, the truth is kind of a tricky thing to handle. We have to share it with others, and yet, we also have to be willing to receive it from others. And that’s where we might cringe a little bit because, of course, it means that if somebody else is right, then they have the upper hand; they’re in the position of power and judgment. And where does that leave us, but in the weaker position. When somebody else has the truth, it means they’re in the position of power—not us.
And that’s not all bad. I mean, when we’re sick and we go to the doctor, we certainly hope that the doctor knows more than us. And we certainly hope that they’ll use the power of knowledge, the power of truth, to help us. And so, it’s not all bad that other people know more than us. In fact, it’s a great thing when others share the truth with us—because the truth should always be helpful.
In the psalm today, God says, “"When you do these [sins], shall I be deaf to it? Or do you think that I am like yourself? I will correct you by drawing them up before your eyes.” God puts a mirror in front of each of us and says, “Look at yourself. See what I see—both the good and the bad.” God puts the truth of our sins and failings right in our face—not to be mean or judgmental, but to be helpful.
It’s like when the doctor says, “You need to cut down on those saturated fats, or you going to end up with heart disease.” The doctor is saying it for our own good. And God tells us the truth about ourselves for our own good. God is showing us precisely what it is that we can work on to be a better Christian, a better human being. It’s one of the ways that God is merciful to us: he tells us the truth about ourselves, whether or not we want to hear it.
Of course, the trick is to be humble and say a prayer of thanks to God—because every time the truth is shared with us we become more knowledgeable; we grow and become wiser. The truth is kind of a tricky thing to handle. We have to share it with others, and yet, we also have to be willing to receive it from others. Thanks be to God for sharing the truth, however it comes to us: in prayer, in our conscience, through the Church, through our neighbors.