Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Loving the Truth, part 3

Jared, one of my close friends, recently posted about his son's complete and utter truth telling in a way to summed up beautifually what I've been trying to understand and communicate in this series on Loving the Truth.

In his searching work (widely considered the greatest devotional writing of the last 500 years), The Imitiation of Christ, Thomas a Kempis said that we must learn to love the truth, no matter where it comes from. Easier said than done, because who actually likes to hear the truth about themselves?? We dodge, avoid, pull evasive maneuvers, defend, and justify all because we don't like to hear the truth.

John Wesley (heavily influenced by a Kempis' book) said that when we are with each we ought "to speak as plainly as possible" to each other. He encouraged a ruthless honesty buoyed by deep community.

Jared's son Jake (3 1/2 years old) apparently gets this better than the rest of us. An excerpt from Jared's post is below and you can read the whole post here.

BlockquoteScholars have bantered about numerous ideas concerning what it means to become like a little child; I'm sure there's more than one possible answer. But
I was reminded the other day of one aspect of being child-like. We were out with a friend who was holding Jake's hand walking through a store. One of the women who worked there struck up a conversation with him and he politely answered all her questions. She said to him, "wow, are you always this good?" My friend started making some kind remarks about how nice he was and Jake interrupted with a vigorous head shake and a very clear, "No."
He was telling the truth. Even though it didn't put him in the best possible light, he just came right out with it. He didn't have the sophistication to think about how to answer the question in a way that would make him look as good as possible. He didn't think for a moment that his answer might cause him to be loved less. He just said what he knew to be true.

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