Lately I’ve been faced with multiple situations at home and school that dealt with the necessity and the difficulty of telling the truth. It’s common for children (and sadly some adults) to struggle with speaking the truth. Even when faced with direct evidence that they are lying, children often still steadfastly refuse to tell the truth. As one child told me recently after it was all over, “I was afraid if I told you the truth I would get in big trouble.”

I’ve been thinking about this struggle with telling the truth in the context of our theme for this school year “We are the Body” based on I Corinthians 12:12-27. For some people, particularly children, the question is why tell the truth? What’s the benefit or gain? Even as adults we often do a bit of cost/benefit analysis when determining whether to speak the whole truth. That’s because we know, as the great philosopher Ice Cube wrote, “Speak a little truth and people lose their minds.” So why tell the truth? In answering that question, I often refer back to Ephesians 4:15: “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.” Telling the truth is a spiritual exercise that shows true love for the other members of the body of Christ and can strengthen both the teller and the hearer. Does it hurt to tell the truth sometimes? Of course it does. But the words of John 8:31b-32 reveal what matters most: “If you abide in my Word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”