John 18:37-38 ESV – For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world – to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”
There is a story told about a company that held a management vs employees softball game every summer during the company picnic. During the last held game, the employee team soundly defeated the management team. In the following week’s company newsletter this small piece was found.
“We wish to give our heartiest congratulations to the management softball team for having a successful season. The management team finished the season having suffered only a single loss.
At this time we would like to express our condolences to the employees softball team who finished their season with only a single victory.”
It is often difficult to know if we are hearing the truth from varied sources. Depending upon the circumstances, truth can be manipulated into something it is not, spun in a way that what is said isn’t nearly as factual as it should be. Truth can become hidden by people’s agendas; made to support something that is actually misleading.
Truth matters because without it we are not safe. Manipulated truth can prevent someone convicted of a misdeed or crime from being punished fairly. Truth is an honest exchange, the essences of communication that provides factual information of occurrences and ideas.
When Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth”, he was probably making a rhetorical question based upon his experience. Today, people with financial or supporting power can purchase false witness and amended events to sway the ‘truth’ to support their argument over that of another. I am sure that that was true in Pilate’s experience. The ways of mankind have not changed that greatly in two millennia.
Speaking truthfully is essential for a Christian. As Christ’s followers we should endeavor to listen before we speak. Doing so leads to better understanding and helps to develop better questions that can help clarify your understanding of what another has said.
When you speak do not have hidden motivations and always speak with kindness to another to avoid regretful statements.
Trust in God as you speak, asking the Spirit to enter into your conversation and to create a better relationship with whomever you are speaking with.