If you are my friend, if you are concerned about my soul, give me the truth. Do not flatter me. Do not praise my virtues while remaining silent about my vices. Do not fear the truth will offend me. Do not treasure our friendship, our friendly relations, above my salvation. Do not think that by ignoring my sins, you can help me. Do not think that being blind to my sins will prove your charitable. However I may react to it, whatever may be my attitude toward you after you have done it, give me the truth!
For the truth, and only the truth, can make me free from the shackles of sin, strengthen me in the pathway of righteousness and lead me to the joys of heaven. If I am wavering, weak, lukewarm, indifferent, neglectful; if I have been overtaken in a trespass; if I have been drawn into the pleasures of the world; if I have left my first love; if I have been led astray by error, or, if I have done none of these things, but simply need to grow in knowledge and then be edified, give me the truth!
The word “truth” occurs 118 times in the King James Version of the New Testament. The basic definition of “truth” is “true and genuine reality.” The basis of truth in the scriptures is a divine reality. It has also been translated, “the reality lying at the basis of an appearance; the manifested, veritable essence of a matter.” Objectively and in the universal application, it pertains to what is true in any matter under consideration. In reference to religion, the word denotes what is true in things pertaining to God and the duties of man. This, of course, is the meaning with which we must concern ourselves.
The apostle John was very interested in the term “truth,” having used it 27 times in his gospel. He stated that “truth” came by Jesus Christ (1:17), the one who “doeth truth” comes to the light (3:21), God must be worshipped “in truth” (4:24), the truth will “set us free” (8:32), and that we are sanctified “through thy truth: thy word is truth” (17:17).
Truth is so valuable that it must be sought and never ignored. “Buy the truth, and sell it not …” the Proverb writer declares (23:23). Christians must always “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15), but may we forever remember that the truth can never be forsaken for anything or anyone. So when someone wants the truth, give it to them. When I need the truth, give it to me. Without it, I am lost.