These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgements that are true and make for peace… (Zechariah 8:16)
Today is Tell the Truth Day.
Do you remember the movie “Liar, Liar”? In that movie Jim Carrey plays Fletcher Reed, a divorced attorney who is father to a young boy named Max. Fletcher is a habitual liar.
He always told people what he thought they wanted to hear, not what he was really thinking. When Fletcher and his son were together they had a great time, and everyone could see that they loved each other.
But he would miss planned outings and lie to his son about why. And it broke Max’s heart every time that happened.
Fletcher’s transformation began when he didn’t show up for Max’s 5th birthday party. A disappointed Max wished that his dad would not lie for one day when he blew out his birthday candles.
The next day everything that came out of Fletcher’s mouth was exactly what he was thinking – no more telling people what they wanted to hear – he was telling them what he was actually thinking. Fletcher tried to lie – but no matter what he tried, he was unable – he could only tell the truth.
Fletcher tried to explain to Max that adults have to lie. Everyone lies, he said. Max’s mom lies; her boyfriend lies. Nobody can survive in the adult world without lying. Max replied, “Yeah, but you are the only one who makes me feel bad.”
That’s when Fletcher had his epiphany – if he didn’t quit lying, he would lose his son forever.
When we are not honest with people – we are not the people God created us to be. In that movie, Fletcher found out that lying was keeping him from being the father he always wanted to be and ruining the relationship with his son.
Is lying keeping you from the people you love?
For today and every day, let’s make a conscious effort to tell the truth. That doesn’t mean that we blurt out everything we are thinking. Let’s just be honest. It might change our lives.
Lois Bylund serves on Women of the ELCA’s executive board. She lives in Moorhead, Minn., and is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in that city.
Photo: CC BY-NC-ND Guilty by This Year’s Love