Truth: A Graphic Contrast

truth-2One evening last week, I read Psalm 85 a few minutes before I watched the evening news.  There was a graphic contrast in the manner in which the two considered the subject of truth.

As I watched interviews of politicians and their proficiency in spinning the truth, I wished they had taken the time to read Psalm 85 and to consider the words of both Jesus and Solomon:

  • In John 8:32, Jesus said: You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
  • In Proverbs 12:17, Solomon said: Truthful witness by a good person clears the air, but liars lay down a smoke screen of deceit. ~ The Message

The need for honest assessments and truthful dialogue has been the subject of discussion since the advent of man, and I’ve selected a couple of comments as examples:

  • K. Chesterton: “Right is right even if nobody does it. Wrong is wrong even if everybody is wrong about it.”
  • Albert Einstein: “Anyone who doesn’t take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either.”
  • Augustine: “The truth is like a lion; you don’t have to defend it. Let it loose; it will defend itself.”

Stephen Covey has said: Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships. Trust, however, can be victimized when we are too casual with the truth, and too comfortable with deceit.

The life motto of some people seems to be a question: Why tell the truth when a good lie will do?

The spiritual environment of Ephesus was a polluted atmosphere of toxic distrust due to a litany of lies perpetrated through the worship of Artemis. Because of this, Paul encouraged the church to no longer be children, tossed back and forth by waves and carried about by every wind of teaching by the trickery of people who craftily carry out their deceitful schemes, but speak the truth in love, so you will grow up into Christ (Ephesians 4:14-14).

I will end this post where I started, and that is with the words of Psalm 85:

Mercy and truth have met. Righteousness and peace have kissed.

Truth sprouts from the ground, and righteousness looks down from heaven.

The Lord will certainly give us what is good, and our land will produce crops.

Righteousness will go ahead of him, and make a path for his steps.

Psalm 85:10-13

The Him Line

bill-cunningham-citra-embedFashion is not my forte, and I’m certainly not the model image of a fashion model from GQ.  I do, however, know enough about fashion to know that Bill Cunningham, the legendary photojournalist for The New York Times, died on Saturday.

Cintra Wilson paid tribute to Cunningham in a timely article in GQ when she described the white-haired octogenarian on a Schwinn bike as a man who, “seemed to have a kind of quantum-mechanical ability to suddenly be at any location in New York City where an act of fashion was being committed, and to witness it at any point in the space-time continuum. His camera was the all-seeing eye of New York City fashion; his documenting of the infinite variations of city fashion were as close to something like omniscience as a mortal with a camera can get.”bill-cunningham-citra-embed-2

Cunningham’s sharp eye captured the rise and fall of fashion’s hem line for nearly 40 years, and he’ll be remembered in part for the him- line that was his life motto: “If beauty is what you seek, you will find it every day.

The essence of Cunningham was captured by Jacob Bernstein: “He wanted to find subjects, not be the subject. He wanted to observe, not be observed.”

Even though He might be out of fashion with some, I still see immense beauty in the Him-Lines of another person; I see it, in these words of Jesus:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. ~Matthew 5