I have long loved the verse in John where Jesus says,
“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
-John 8:32 (NKJV)
I always thought it referred to discovering Truth in the Bible, which frees us. And I still believe it refers to that.
But I also think it applies in a more general way. This hit me about three years ago.
Truth has the power to free us, whether it is the Truth in the Bible or a truth in our own lives.
Let me explain. There are people in my life whom I love deeply. But the relationships always felt one-way. As if I had to do all the work; I had to make all the compromises; I had to tread lightly for their feelings. Yet I still thought they cared about me, so I tried to put in the effort, you know?
Three years ago, one of these people blew up in front of me. I had long known he had a temper, but never seen it on display. He berated principles I hold dear, insulted people I love more than anyone, and basically mocked my whole lifestyle.
Not exactly endearing behavior. Rather shocking, in fact.
I got to see the truth.
It hurt, but I got to see how he really felt. And it set me utterly free from his expectations. Now the relationship is completely on my terms because he showed himself unwilling to extend any amount of unselfish love.
There’s freedom in that. In living without concern for his opinion.
It wasn’t pleasant to see the already-fragile relationship fracture. But it set me free. More in my mind, perhaps, than anywhere else.
And it is good to live in freedom.
Sometimes when Jesus reveals to us the truth about ourselves and others, it’s ugly. When He reveals truth about Himself, it is beautiful. But either way, truth frees.
And it’s worth any pain it may bring.