“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” John 8:32

“The truth shall set you free” has been a universal slogan for many. It has given many people a spark of hope, especially those in oppressive situations. “Accommodation of the truth” and “The quest for truth” don’t carry the same meaning. While many chant the same slogan, it doesn’t mean they understand it in the same context. If truth favors us, we want it. But who wants it if it brings deeper complications rather than the desired solution? Truth, in the context of the Bible, is different from the context of the world.

“Truth” refers to the teachings of the Holy Scriptures. Truth is Jesus Christ Himself, the only One who obeyed the whole law. Truth is silent and it need not shout; it remains sharp and penetrates to the innermost defenses of any man or woman. Before truth sets free, it first brings pain. Facing the truth is never attractive to the human flesh; for it goes against everything the flesh stands for. While truth brings freedom, it doesn’t respect feelings. It requires an honest look inside and a real evaluation of many things. Truth isn’t achieved when “self ” is at the center of our quest; “self ” needs to step aside and to give way to this bright light of Truth.

How much of the truth do we want and how much of the truth can we handle? Lies and half-truths provide cushions for temporary relief, but can never provide lasting freedom. Grace prepares us for the truth. Grace and truth are essential components of freedom. Through grace, we learn to handle, accept, and live with the truth.

Once truth sets in and is allowed to peer through us without checkpoints or editing, only then can we face the real issue. And we find enough godly courage to accept our failures, and avail of our chance to recover. The gentleness of truth is especially effective to those who have been broken by it.

We find in Jesus Christ the model of grace and truth. We need both to liberate us from ourselves and from the condemning crowd. Others might find themselves behind bars, literally caged because truth and justice require it. Yet, this is a small price to pay for the freedom and peace experienced in the inner man. The same is true for the other side of the coin. While some are free from the literal cage, they’re not spared from the haunting of guilt, like piercing needles into the heart and fire to the bones. They endure the intense pain of an unforgiving guilt. The bitter pill of repentance isn’t an option; it’s the way by which truth is accepted and freedom takes effect. In the archive of prayers recorded in the New Testament, the prayer “Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner” has brought embarrassment to many. Yet along with that, liberty and life within.

— This excerpt is taken from Moments of Grace written by Arnel C. Tan and published by OMF Literature Inc. To get the full devotional in print or digital format, please visit any OMF Lit and Passages Bookshop or go to www.passages.com.ph.