Truth sets you free, but first it’s going to piss you off!
Jesus was the first to say this very often quoted line in John 8:31-32 – 31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
In this context, Jesus was speaking to believing Jews and was telling them that he was the source of Truth and not their traditions passed down through Abraham. This truth that Jesus possessed and shared with them would set them free. Free from the consequences and slavery to sin because through Jesus to those who believed in Him, the power of sin was broken.
This verse is used many times in modern days without reference to the truth of Jesus, but to other things. Truth in many instances is the beginning of freedom. Many times you have to face the facts before you can move away from uneasy or downright nasty situations.
My favorite variation of this quote was given to me by a counselor. She would say; “The truth will set you free, but first it’s going to piss you off.” Maybe a bit crude, but spot on!
When confronted with truth, we come to a point of decision; accept it or deny it. When we deny it, we simply disregard it straight out of hand. “That can’t be true” or “I think you are wrong” are a few of the short responses we say without giving it some time to consider. It may be that we won’t consider it, but most of the time we recognized the bit of truth. It simply hurts us to much to ponder it deeper and we blow it off.
On the other hand, we could recognize that nugget of truth and give it some thought. Sure, the truth is at times hard to handle and will piss you off, but once that is overcome we can move towards the freedom. Our thoughts may look something like; “Maybe she is right” or “I didn’t know that I made him feel that way”
The anger part comes in when we feel awful for what we have done and how we hurt others in our life. The anger also comes because no one likes to feel attacked and confronted. The truth has a way of being confrontational and challenging our egos. We want to fight back and defend ourselves, mostly this is a primal reaction. Truth hurts sometimes.
Looking at this through the lens of porn addiction and our lives, the truth will indeed piss off both parties! You are the spouse that finds your husband’s internet history includes frequent visits to a porn site. The initial reaction to this truth is anger! “Why is he spending hours on porn sites?” “Am I not good enough for him?” “Does he find me unattractive?”
Now on the other side of this situation is the husband who looks at porn and is confronted by his wife. She has evidence of your visits to porn sites and confronts him about it. This is a hard truth to admit to! In fact it is gonna get him angry! When confronted with the hurt he has caused her and the sin in his own life, it will make him defensive and anger will swell. Some of his thoughts may be some of these: “How could I be so stupid?” “What the heck is the matter with me?” “She doesn’t deserve to be treated like this.” “I know that what I’ve done is wrong, but I can’t stop.”
Truth hurts on both sides of the equation. It’s going to piss you off! When you are the one who has to confront someone with painful truth, do it in love. Confronting someone in love is doing it for their own good and not out of any self-serving interests. If you approach the situation with the attitude of “I’m going to really give it to him, what a hypocrite he is and he needs to be taken down a few notches.” Or “I have every right to let him have it because of what he has done to me.” Those are not speaking the truth in love. If you have this in mind; “Man, this really hurts, but he needs to know, I don’t want him to continue to live defeated by sin.”
When you are on the receiving end of the truth, try to control your anger and look at this as an opportunity to admit to the things you have done. The other person may not be 100% true or they are and you are not ready to admit to it. Truth will only set you free when you acknowledge it and then take to heart what it is trying to teach you.
Truth sets you free when a hidden thing is out in the open and exposed to the light. Sin grows in the darkness and makes you it’s slave. You do not realize the power it has over you until you expose it and experience freedom! This may sound foreign and crazy, but I know first-hand how admitting sin and exposing it will kill it and set you free.
Give this a try and tell me if I’m not right. Admit to something you have been hiding from everyone. It doesn’t have to be a huge sin to start, but acknowledge you’ve been hiding from the truth about yourself and need to tell someone. Get it out in the open with a good friend, pastor or counselor. Freedom will come to you over this!
I want to hear your stories of being set free by the truth. Tell your story in the comment section below or hit my contact page. Get it off your chest here to a group of non-judgmental people who will treat you with love.