Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8: 31-32 NLT

Truth can be confusing. Some of us believe that truth brings punishment. Or that truth brings pain. Or that truth is just uncomfortable. But this scripture says that truth actually brings freedom.

I don’t think we believe that… I know I haven’t. For a long time, I’ve seen truth as negative.

The biggest truth I’ve liked avoiding is who I really am without God.

20 And Jesus said, “The things that come out of people are the things that make them unclean.21 All these evil things begin inside people, in the mind: evil thoughts, sexual sins, stealing, murder, adultery, 22 greed, evil actions, lying, doing sinful things, jealousy, speaking evil of others, pride, and foolish living. 23 All these evil things come from inside and make people unclean.”

Mark 7: 20-21

The verse feels like my biography. Without God, I’m a completely self-absorbed jerk who thinks the world revolves around him, sees every friend as a competitor to outshine, and ends up angry with a lot of embarrassing sin. Writing that sentence wasn’t actually too hard, but reminding myself who I am every morning is something I avoid like the plague. I want to feel like I’m really a good guy at heart, but that’s just not true.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6: 23

The inconvenient truth is that we all have sin—so we will all fall apart and wreak havoc on our relationships without God. But once we get past a few hard truths, we find the gifts.

  • Truth: we don’t deserve God to have be our friend, but he wants to be anyways.
  • Truth: we don’t deserve our friends to put up with us, but they do anyways.
  • Truth: most of what we have—talents, opportunities, second chances—have been given to us for free, regardless of what we deserve.

And we don’t deserve much. That’s another hard truth to swallow. But it’s empowering. When we give up trying to be someone and deserve something, we become grateful for the gifts we’re given for free.

The gift of freedom starts with being forgiven.

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good.But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

Romans 5: 6-8

When you’re forgiven, you have nothing left to prove. No need to impress, earn, and deserve. You can relax and just be grateful. God knows the real, ugly you—and he says he’s got you covered.

So when you start looking for truth, you’ll end up finding freedom.

  1. What do you believe that truth leads to? Punishment, pain, or freedom?
  2. Without God, what does the real, ugly you look like?
  3. Are you free? If not, what truths are you afraid of seeing?
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