May 4, 2017 • Life for Leaders
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
In Isaiah’s day, the people of Israel, especially her leaders and teachers, had forsaken the truth. They justified their own injustice in ways that turned truth on its head – calling evil, good; dark, light; and bitter, sweet.
Sound familiar? The same is true in our day. The cover of Time Magazine recently wondered “Is Truth Dead?” [April 3, 2017] Political leaders who invert truth and falsehood flourish. Pop culture bombards us with messages contradictory to God’s truth, telling us, for example, that putting ourselves first is laudable, that physical appearance means more than character, and that the purpose of life is our own individual happiness. Even our religious leaders can get into the act, twisting the truth to promote their own personal agendas.
Though we rightly bemoan our world’s disconnection from truth, we must acknowledge our own temptation to follow the ways of the world. We too can choose the comfortable lie over the uncomfortable truth. We too can pretend as if truthfulness really doesn’t matter.
Yet, the world’s confusion of truth and falsehood gives us an unprecedented opportunity to live distinctively as the people of God. If we who belong to Christ will be people of truth, then we will shine his light into our dark world. Being people of truth is a matter both of speech and action. It means knowing, saying, and living the truth in every sector of life, including our workplace. Such a life is centered in Christ, the one who is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
Are you a person of truth?
Do you speak and live truthfully? Is your life full of truth?
When are you tempted to be less than truthful?
Which of the lies of our world snare your soul most easily?
Gracious God, as we look at the world in which we live, we’re struck by how much it is like the world of Isaiah. All around us people are saying that good is evil, and dark is light, and sweet is bitter. We are also struck by how easy it is for us to become caught in this web of falsehood.
Forgive us, gracious Lord, for the times we fail to speak or to live the truth. Forgive us when we let the lies of this world blot out your timeless truth.
Help me to be a person of truth, not only in my words, but also in my mind, my heart, and my actions. Help me especially in contexts where truthfulness is risky, where it seems so much easier simply to lie. Give me wisdom to know when and how to speak the truth. May my whole life be anchored in truth, because you are the truth. Amen.
Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentary: Work and Relationships (John 14-17)
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.