Sometimes, sincere efforts to live and tell the truth are thwarted. We see this in cases in which governments block avenues for free expression, in biased reporting, or in workplaces with a culture of silence around misdeeds. In some instances, telling the truth can carry the risk of job loss, imprisonment, or worse. What can be done to support the healthy expression of truth?
Once when I was on a work assignment to speak with the European press, reporters ignored or refused all of my interview requests. I felt caught by having truth to tell but nowhere to tell it. So I did what I often do when feeling cornered: I prayed.
My prayer involved a desire to explore a bigger sense of God, who is divine Truth – the only power, the sovereign influence, truth-giver, and truth-teller. The Psalmist brought out this aspect of God when he sang, “Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!” (Psalms 43:3, English Standard Version). I love the idea of God’s “holy hill,” or the high-up perspective of divine Truth, from which we can discern the truth of all creation.
This truth includes the fact that we are all created by God, Truth, who is as irrepressible as sunlight. Divine Truth outlasts and outshines all that would attempt to avoid its influence or squelch its power. As we open our hearts to the Christ, Truth, we find that infinite Truth is always present and the only true power – lifting us up and impelling us to truthfulness.
My prayer helped me find the courage to persist in seeking interviews. It also led me to realize that suppression of dialogue sometimes occurs because of an underlying fear of loss of power. I decided to pray generally for the press – to eliminate misconceptions about my motives that would induce such fear. I saw us all as God’s spiritual creation, motivated only by Truth, living in conformity with Truth, even expressing Truth. We show our true nature when we act courageously and honestly. As I prayed in this way, I could no longer see any legitimate reason for truth to be hampered.
And this prayer brought results: interviews nearly every week for months. Shortly afterward, a magazine featured an article on the subject to extend the conversation.
In her primary work on Christian Science, Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy wrote, “Prayer cannot change the unalterable Truth, nor can prayer alone give us an understanding of Truth; but prayer, coupled with a fervent habitual desire to know and do the will of God, will bring us into all Truth” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 11).
The irrepressible nature of Truth, God, is not an exception. It’s the rule. We all, as God’s children, live under the law of Truth. Understanding Truth to be the real motivator of man can give courage to our efforts to be truthful, can open doors to new opportunities, and can light and protect the way forward as we live by and tell the truth.