Truth Management

Posted By: Dieuner Joseph | Thursday, May 23, 2019


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

Most Christians are partial to the “truth.” After all, Jesus told the disciples that the devil is the father of lies and that lying is his native tongue (John 8:44). God is the antithesis of the devil. He is known as Father of truth. Jesus presented himself as “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). He told his disciples that “God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24).

Telling the truth should be the native language of every believer. The truth is, after all, liberating and empowering. It is therapeutic and transformational. But the truth can also be detrimental or destructive. It can be ensnaring and discouraging if it is not managed effectively.

Most people do poorly at managing the truth. They don’t have a strategic plan for telling the truth to others. Thus, their truth-telling can easily lead to broken relationships and wounded spirits. Indeed, many people have committed suicide because of the truth. Some people struggle with depression and low self-esteem because of the ill-advised way someone told them the truth.

In today’s text, Jesus teaches his disciples how to manage the truth. The first thing he said is that the truth requires understanding. For the truth to set a person free, that individual must recognize the truth as truth. That means the truth-teller must take the time to educate the truth-receiver about the truth. That education process requires a formula that Pastor Rick Warren says is Truth + Time + Tact = Transformation.

Some people expect their truth to lead to transformation without investing the time and using the proper tact in their management of the truth. This mismanagement of the truth is frustrating to the truth-teller and the truth-receiver. It damages relationships and does not set anyone free.

What sets people free is telling the truth in love. That means being thoughtful and timely in telling the truth to others. Telling the truth in love makes the truth-teller patient and kind in the way they communicate the truth. When love is involved, the truth receiver is not dishonored or hurt by the truth because the truth-teller’s goal is transformation and not condemnation.

Truth management requires relationship. Our relationship with others determines the way we tell them the truth. Whereas the truth must not change, the way we manage the delivery of that truth is relationship-based. I don’t tell the truth to my daughter the same way I say it to my son. I have to use different tact and time in telling the truth to each of my children. And after 27 years of marriage, I have learned to develop a strategic plan for telling the truth to my wife. When I don’t use that plan, she becomes frustrated and hurt by my truth.

Jesus did not just show up and started criticizing the Pharisees. He lived among the Pharisees for 30 years before he started to tell them his truth. Also, throughout his three years of ministry, he was intentional about developing a love-based relationship with the Pharisees and the religious leaders, though it was most contentious. So much so that Nicodemus came to him and asked him about salvation (John 3).

Many Christians get hurt in churches because of the way they are told the truth of the gospel. Some non-believers do not go to church because they don’t think Christians are good at telling the truth. Unless we are willing to educate people we believe are liars, or arrogant, or messy, or selfish, or greedy, etc., we cannot expect them to be transformed.

Jesus taught the disciples that verbalizing the truth is only half of the battle and the lesser part of the truth management process. The most crucial part is truth-modeling. People are set free when we model the very characteristics we want them to emulate. We should not just tell someone their house is messy, for example. We have to take the opportunity to clean their home with them and invite them to our house so they can see what a neat house looks like. Then, we have to give that person time to develop the habit of keeping their home tidy.

What formula are you using to tell your direct reports, or employees, or spouse, or colleagues, or siblings, or neighbors, or fellow church members the truth? Is the way you tell truth liberating or confining? Do you have an effective truth management process that is helping in the transformation of others?

Prayer- Blessed Lord, teach us how to manage the truth that we want others to know, so they live life more abundantly to the glory of your name.

About The Author

Rev. Dieuner Joseph is a dynamic leader, disciple Maker, Writer, Talk Show host, and Spiritual counselor. Reverend Joseph is the founder of the Imani Temple Baptist Church and the Disciple Maker Ministry. He is a skilled Bible teacher who carefully and responsibly exegete the Scriptures to make them relevant to today’s readers. Through his Blog and weekly Christian magazine- The Wednesday Word- he seeks to provide Bible based instructions for dealing with the socio-political issues of today.

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