The thing about truth is that….it’s so true. We love to hear positive truths: “oooh, I like that top you have on”, “you have a beautiful smile”, “great job on that report today, you nailed it”, “you’re such a nice daddy”, “thanks for the flowers, you’re so sweet”. But what happens when we hear the not so positive truths? The ones that make us realize we’re wrong? The ones that make us doubt ourselves or others whom we thought we knew?

Some people say it’s not harmful to tell those little white lies; those ones that “don’t really matter” and keep someone’s feelings from being hurt. For example, I ask my husband, “does this dress make me look fat?” One, I’m not stupid enough to ask this question and two, this question doesn’t put anybody in a good place, my husband or me. Either he feels he needs to lie to me “oh no honey, not at all” when in actuality he’s starting to freak out, thinking I’m pregnant again, or he tells me the truth, which could either be, “well….maybe you could wear that other dress you have” or “nope, you look amazing”. But if he tells me the latter, am I really going to believe him? If I think the dress makes me look fat after looking in the mirror, yet he tells me it doesn’t, who am I going to believe? Now what about it he tells me the former, that yes, it does make me look…..less than skinny? I asked him, he told me the truth (at least the truth in his eyes), and now…now what? I get mad at him for telling me the truth? Isn’t that what I asked for, the truth?

Or did I? If I say I’m searching for the truth, when in reality I’m just searching for a lie to make myself feel better, then what does that do to my husband (feel free to substitute ‘husband’ for any other person you have a relationship with)? It sets him up into the habit of lying to me. It starts with little white lies, but is it really going to stay there? Or will it grow into bigger lies? So what is more beneficial to hear: a lie…or the truth?

Ignorance is bliss, the saying goes. Let’s go back to the “Do I look fat in this?” question. I look in the mirror and don’t like what I see, so I ask my husband to get his opinion, and he tells me I’m wrong, I in fact look great. I may smile and say “thank you”, but I gaurantee you the little voice inside my head is going to whisper to me “he’s lying, you don’t look great”. So now I’m stuck doubting him every time I ask him how I look. And what about those times he offers up a “mmm, you’re looking scrumptious today” comment without being prompted? Will I believe him then? Not only will I doubt him then too, but I’ll then doubt myself.

So now let’s change the scenario. Dear husband tells me he doesn’t like a particular shirt I have (while all the above situations are purely fictional, this following one is actually true), it makes me look like I’m in jail (it was a grey striped shirt). I won’t lie, I was disappointed at first. It was super comfortable and I loved wearing it. But since I, like any wife out there, wants to look good for her husband, I got rid of it. It wasn’t expensive to begin with, I had other compfy shirts, and I wouldn’t get made fun of by my husband every time I wore. Problem solved. The truth was told, the problem fixed, and I moved on. I didn’t end up doubting myself or my husband. On a side note-I have kept other items of clothing my husband doesn’t particularly care for because I do love them. I know where he stands, but you know what I told him “I love you, but I just don’t care” 🙂

Now on to the “heavy” stuff. The lies that do really matter (although I maintain that all lies matter and are wrong). The lies that will change how you see someone when the truth comes out. The lies that will rip your heart in half when you find out it was all a lie. I believe it’s all the same-little white lies, and huge, black lies. Without getting into details, I’ve been through it before. You think you know someone, whether it’s a friend, a co-worker, a spouse, or a sibling, and then one day they tell you their truths, and suddenly you wonder who the heck you’re looking at. Who the heck have you been talking to all these years? Who the heck have you been trusting and how could you trust such a wretched person?

And yet.

And yet, what’s that other feeling way down deep in your heart…relief? Really? Relief from what? Relief that now you don’t have to waste your time building a relationship with that person anymore? Relief that you can use that extra time with those other people in your life that would never lie to you like that? Or is it relief that now you can finally move closer to that person? Relief that now you can go deeper into your relationship? Relief that they’ve now shared their very worst, and if they can trust you enough to tell you all their junk, then maybe you could even trust them to tell them all yours?

When you find out the truth about someone, you also find out the truth about yourself. You find out what you value in a relationship. You find out what you really want in life and what you’re willing to do to get it. It’s easy to sit there and believe the lies other people tell you and you tell yourself on a daily basis. But what are you going to do when all those lies are stripped away and you’re faced with the truth and nothing but the truth? Do you decide the truth is too painful and walk away, back to your life of lies? Or do you embrace the truth, grab it by the hand, and run forward into a new life free from all those lies that were only holding you back? It isn’t easy. It isn’t safe. But it is good, and it is free.

John 8:32 “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”