Building a Culture of Truth

Building a Culture of Truth

Living truthfully and promoting truth is not legalism. It is a manifestation of our love for the God of truth and our desire to see His truth permeate our lives and communities. By being truthful, we emulate God’s nature, contribute to the building up of a godly community, and shine as beacons of His grace and truth in a world marred by deception.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. – Exodus 20:16

When we think of the Ninth Commandment, our minds often fixate on the notion of lying. While this command indeed prohibits lying, it also calls us to something far deeper. It beckons us to embrace a commitment to God’s truth in every corner of our lives and society.

The Westminster Larger Catechism, in Question 144, begins like this “The duties required in the ninth commandment are, the preserving and promoting of truth between man and man.” This perspective shows that our duty in a war on falsehood extends beyond the white lies, falsified reports, and dutiful silences. We are called to create and preserve a wholesale culture of truth, where honesty and integrity are so thick, that falsehood, lies, and deception are suffocated.

How To Build A Culture Of Truth

The Ninth Commandment calls us not only to avoid falsehood but also to actively promote truth in our communities. Building a culture of truth involves more than honesty in our statements; it requires us to be advocates of truth in every situation.

For instance, in our daily lives, we must embody truth. Think of a whistleblower who exposes corruption despite personal risk out of courage to uphold truth in a culture of deceit. Similarly, in our workplaces, we should not be turtles who hide in their shells. Instead, we should be influencing the landscape and climate of our vocations so that DEI committees and woke HR departments are not propagating harmful and deceitful cultures that gobble up the righteous and spit in the face of reality. In our families, we should teach our children from the Word so that they will know the truth, see the truth as critical to our lives at every level, and encouraging them how to recognize lies, repent of falsehoods, and how to live in the light of Christ in all things. In social circles, we should stand against misinformation, whether it’s a “harmless rumor” or a damaging lie. As people of the truth, we must require that truth abounds in every thing we touch and in everything we can influence.

Creating cultures of truth also means rewarding honesty when someone might be tempted to lie, celebrating fidelity in marriage, refusing to use someone’s preferred pronouns regardless of the cost, and promoting forthrightness in every conceivable dimension. Imagine a garden choked with weeds (falsehoods). Just as a diligent gardener aggressively removes the weeds and continually plants and replants new seeds so that only healthy plants may flourish, we must actively root out deceit everywhere it is found, while also continually speaking truth, promoting truth, and acting in truthful ways in order to suffocate deception out of our world and cultivate a world that aligns with the Word. While that is a tremendous job that none of us can accomplish today, we can begin that work in our lives, in our jobs, and in our homes.

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