THERE is much public discussion these days about the lying in both public and private life that seems to be increasingly taken for granted as a necessity. People sometimes feel that the question of whether to lie, equivocate, be silent, or tell the truth in any given situation is a hard choice. Yet that decision is crucial, for it affects not only the individual concerned but the integrity of family and the stability of society. Real truth-telling comes out of the deepest love for others. None of us like to be lied to. Everyone feels belittled when credibility and honesty are sacrificed on the altar of falsehood. Francis Bacon wrote, ``Certainly, it is heaven upon earth, to have a man's mind move in charity, rest in providence, and turn upon the poles of truth.'' The life and example of Christ Jesus are the epitome of Bacon's words. Because Jesus understood the nature of God as absolute Truth and invariable Love, he could trust his heavenly Father to guide and sustain him. Even when he was under the threat of death, he didn't deviate from the highest standard of right, which has its source and authority in God.
When asked by Pilate if he was the king of the Jews, Jesus explained that his kingdom was not of this world. His kingship was in the spiritual realm of truth -- the true knowledge of God, his Father, who is Truth. He said: ``To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.''
Christ, the true idea of God, which Jesus witnessed to, frees people from the bondage of disease and suffering, sin and death. By turning to God as supreme Truth for guidance and strength, we begin to realize that there is an undeviating law of good underpinning our lives. As we become more willing to obey this law, our desire and our capacity to live in accord with the highest veracity increase. Catching a glimpse of our true nature in God's likeness, we want to be truthful and good. Then we strive more earnestly to live up to the Christ ideal Jesus expressed so fully.
The Comforter -- ``the Spirit of truth'' that Jesus promised his followers -- is finding expression in the Science of Christianity today. Mrs. Eddy understood that the Holy Ghost, or Comforter, has a transforming power that heals sickness and destroys sin. She writes: ``The Holy Spirit takes of the things of God and showeth them unto the creature; and these things being spiritual, they disturb the carnal and destroy it; they are revolutionary, reformatory, and -- now, as aforetime -- they cast out evils and heal the sick.''
The purification and reformation that are required of all Christians are not easily accomplished. They entail a radical change of thought and outlook from a material to a spiritual basis -- and a willingness to allow Christ to enter our lives and regenerate them. We each eventually have to grapple with our own sense of what is right and wrong. Remorse and genuine sorrow for wrong make us more alert not to compromise our integrity a second time. The Comforter, divine Science, sustains each step we strive to take honestly.
Christian Science is presenting to this age the universal reality that the man of God's creating has never been pulled away from his original perfection in God's likeness. God's spiritual man has never been a liar, nor is he deceived by the lies of the ``carnal mind.'' When we witness to truth faithfully, we are helping to create a society that finds real pleasure in telling the truth. This is a condensed version of an editorial that appeared in the June 11 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.