IT LIKE IT IS
Speak to each man the truth to his neighbor; give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace Zechariah 8:16
WHY is it that most of us do not want to hear plain truth? We run from it, and if we have no option but to look at it squarely, it has to be made presentable and palatable to our taste. We repeatedly dance around instead of looking at it squarely in the face and taking responsibility. We take a situation knowing full well it is not in keeping with our Christian faith and try to pretty it up, transforming it this way and that way but it still is never quite right although we pronounce it so.
THERE is an old folktale that expresses this sentiment. Long ago, Truth went about the streets as naked as the day he was born. As a result, people would not let him into their homes. Whenever they caught sight of him, they turned away and fled. One day when Truth was sadly wandering about, he came upon Parable. Now, Parable was dressed in splendid clothes of beautiful colors. And Parable, seeing Truth said, Tell me neighbor, what makes you so sad? Truth replied bitterly, Ah, brother, things are bad. Things are very, very bad. Im old, very old, and no one wants to acknowledge me. No one wants anything to do with me.
HEARING that, Parable said, People dont run away from you because youre old. I too am old. Im very old. But the older I get, the better people like me. I will tell you a secret. Everyone like things disguised and prettied up a bit. Let me lend you some splendid clothes like mine. You will see that the very people who pushed you aside will invite you into their homes and be glad of your company.
TRUTH took Parables advice and put on the borrowed clothes. And from that time on, Truth and Parable have gone hand in hand together and everyone loves them. They make a happy pair.
WE all know Christ used stories called parables to illustrate His points. However, He did not use a parable to hide the truth but rather to put His laws forward in ordinary human terms. He used a solid basis of truth at its foundation. Because He used everyday happenings He caught the attention of His listeners and told a message within a message that left His listeners pondering over what He said. Through His parables we are able to understand what He meant us to learn. But He did not hide His strong and vital lessons under the guise of pretty pictures. He told it like it was, and like it is, and always will be.
THIS truth differs from the pseudo truth of sin dressed in finery. Truth can never be bent if it concerns our faith in God. The alternatives to truth add up to a numbness of mind after a time and then we cannot differentiate so readily what is wrong and what is right. We begin to see only the surface, never taking the time to study what is underneath its cover.
AS Christians you and I have a built in sin alarm. If something comes my way and it constitutes a sin, my conscience puts it in perspective for me. My sin alarm strips away the attractive veneer and lets me see there is something else beneath the exterior. Whether I heed that conscience is my choice. If I look over the things I have done, issues that I allowed to go past me without comment, actions that I knew were wrong I know I have sinned for that alarm that God built within me sounded loud and clear and I ignored it.
JUST as we are very conscious of the food we eat, checking labels for fat, calories, and sugar content so we must be aware of how we allow other things into our thinking, checking our acceptance of things that may little by little change our way of life. Instead of mindlessly soaking up the tons of things coming at us and lifestyles that eat away at our belief in God and His teachings we try to look at those things and see them for what they really are without the disguises society puts upon them.
IF I sin I hang my head in abject shame. I become afraid to even contemplate God or Heaven because I know I have done something very wrong. I cannot even look up to an imaginary location of Heaven because that shame is so intense I feel as if I have betrayed Christ Who believes in me, Who has blessed me, extended me His mercy and all the good things He has provided. Romans 2:15 tells me that my conscience bears witness to my sins and stands out as a glaring accusation against me. This is reality in its tell it like it is form. We are all in jeopardy each day we face. The consequences of not paying attention to our actions could be costly with no recovery. Mathew 7:13-14 tells us Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
IT is not as difficult as we sometimes think to live a good life. Once we get on course we will find ourselves immune to the things that tempt us because our focus will change as we become strong in faith. We are as new people with a guide Who protects us by giving fair warning signals. To tell it like it is, my eternal life hangs in the balance over any decision that I will make, so I must think it through. I must not delay. I cannot put off thinking about it till tomorrow or some other day, because another day may not come for me.
THE longer we live, the more suffering we feel. When we were young children, the world was bright with promise for we were on the threshold of life. We felt we could do everything and anything we wanted with our lives. There were no problems or goals we reached for that could not be attained. With the exuberance of youth, the strength of new beings we set out on our courses with a positive attitude. Then as the years wrote experience on our lives, the world dished out its realities that made us realize life does not always come under the heading of pure, gilded happiness. We do not always get that job we wanted, or the love partner, or the house, or the respect, not even from family sometimes. If we do not have someone bigger than ourselves to lean on we plough through the days and fall into bed at night wondering what happened to us. If we do not have an understanding of the why we are here, then life becomes a sham, a circus that never ends except through death.
THOSE who do not know the Lord in a personal relationship are not always the happy beings life paints them to be. When things go haywire in their lives, and if they have money, they can live in the fast lane, fill the hours with the noise of people and things, remaining untouched by the reality that they are trying to fill a place only God can fill. In an attempt to fill this void deep within us we may choose actions and situations to fill this spiritual void. It is because we are searching for the sacred; a quest for inner peace and meaning for life. It is like a wound that can never heal for only the blood of the Son can soothe and make it whole again. To be blunt and tell it like it is, we are here for only one reason; to secure our passage to eternity and on some level in our hearts we know this.
THERE is no getting around it. We must dedicate our lives to the Heavenly Father who created us. We must accept whatever He chooses to place in our care and accept whatever burdens He gives us to carry. We must follow what His Son said we must do as He rose to go to His heavenly kingdom and that is to work to gain souls for that Kingdom.
OH, it will be hard for Satan is a crafty devil; he is deceptive, cunning, and uses all his vast talents to get to us. He does not want us to look to Gods laws because he wants your soul for his hell and damnation. So many people succumb to his wiles and forget the path we must take to Gods eternity. Since we prefer to ignore truth, Satan is constantly pointing out that God really doesnt care about us. But to tell it like it is, Satan is a loser who does not want us working for Christ. He does not want you to reach your spiritual heights and he does not want you to believe in any power higher than his. He will give any distraction to keep you away from the goodness and the grace of Jesus Christ.
TO tell the truth, we must surrender ourselves into the hands of our Savior. Only He can rub the balm of peace and courage on our aching souls, only He can quietly show us how to find the solace we need. Only He can walk down those rocky roads with us knowing when we stumble and fall He will be right there to pick us up. We dont need the bustle of sin covered over with pretty ribbons. To tell it like it is, we only need to surrender our lives into the loving hands of our Lord Jesus Christ. If we live a life guided by Him, we can then say, I have finished the work You have given me Lord, and I am waiting for you, whenever You are ready, to take me home.
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