Imagine picking your car up from where you took it for a tune-up. The technician says to you, “This car is in great shape. Clearly you are an automotive genius to take great care of your car.”
Later that day, your brakes don’t work. You find out you were out of brake fluid. You could have died. You go back to the shop, and you say, “Why didn’t you tell me?” The technician said, “Well, I didn’t want you to feel bad. Plus, to be honest, I was afraid you might get upset with me. I want this to be a safe place where you feel loved and accepted.” You would be furious. You would probably say something like, “I didn’t come here for a little fantasy based ego boost. When it comes to my car, I want the truth.”
Or, imagine this scenario: You’re at a party. Afterwards, your spouse or your good friends says to you, “Once more, I was struck by your natural charisma and superior intellect. They are continually amazing. You correctly intuited that everybody at that party would rather listen to you pontificate out of your brilliance than to have to come up with something to say themselves.” How mad do you get at that comment?
When something matters to us, we do not want illusory comfort based on pain avoidance. We want truth. Except when it comes to ourselves. When it comes to me, I’m not sure I want the truth. Winston Churchill wrote, “Men occasionally stumble on the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.”
We are in a series of messages about how God changes people. The series is based on a phrase by a guy named Henry Cloud who said, “Transformation requires grace plus truth plus time.” Last week we looked at the fun part of transformation – grace. This week we will be looking at the more difficult part of transformation – truth.