Untangling the truth

Published 10:11 pm Friday, June 1, 2012

By Chris Surber

My 6-year-old is a real collector. He’s not categorically focused in his collecting. He loves to collect anything.

Not long ago I brought him and his 4-year-old sidekick with me to a church rummage sale. It was like bringing a couple of St. Bernards to a bone auction. The elder boy spotted a phone that he just had to have. That obnoxious phone has “I Love the ’80s” written all over it! It is encased in transparent plastic, revealing all of the diodes and gizmos that make it function, with a bright yellow cord.

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He has been playing with that phone ever since. He walks around the house with it pretending to talk and getting himself, the chair, the toys, and everything else tangled in the cord. For him, the phone is a novelty, but those of us of a previous generation know the aggravation of routinely getting tangled in phone cords. By today’s standards, that phone is a fossil. My children only know touch screens and handheld devices.

While most of today’s kids don’t know what it is like to get tangled up in a phone cord, they are growing up tangled in much more complicated invisible cables. I met a young teenaged girl recently who told me of her strong convictions about gay marriage. Since when does a child of that age need to have a strong conviction on anything of such gravity?

The truth is that today’s young people are bombarded with difficult questions ahead of their time. It isn’t possible to protect them from the questions, but we who follow the way of Jesus can protect them from false answers.

My heart wants to wrap up my children in a swaddling blanket and lock them away from the world. I can’t. Locking children away from the malice of the world also robs them of its beauty.

What we can and must do is to untangle the truth from all of the myths, lies and half-truths the world weaves into it. Truth never changes. Truth is concrete. Truth is immortal.

The common sentiment in society today is that the only measure of right and wrong action is whether that action causes pain to someone else. That sentiment robs people of the security God intends for them to have. Truth is not a product that can be produced on the conveyer belt of public opinion.

Opinions of the truth may change, but it is a constant witness to what is real. Truth is not wounded by our neglect of its authority. When we are on the side of truth, we have an arsenal of infinite power and worth.

When we are not on the side of truth, we cannot prevail. Many of our young people are tangled in cords of confusion. Only the shears of truth can untangle them.

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6, ESV)