Do we love the truth? In a documentary some years ago, the narrator asked a number of people, “What is truth?” Bobby Gaylor, a musician answered, “What people don't want to hear.” Do we want to know the truth?
As he does in the fourth gospel, John writes about truth. He addresses this second of his letters, to those whom he “loves in truth”. Not only did he love them, but he did so in the name of the One who is the Truth. The members of the first century church knew the truth because He lived in them. These early Christians identified their love for the truth by living the truth.
Ben Patterson told the story of a retired pastor who began noticing that his former congregation was sliding away from orthodoxy. Taking responsibility, the pastor stated, in two sentences, his great failure as a pastor: "I always told people what to believe. My great mistake is that I never clearly taught my people what NOT to believe."
Our love for the truth is finally revealed by the way we live. Those who traffic in lies will eventually find discerning the truth more difficult. In Tokien’s Lord of the Rings, Eomer says to Aragorn: "You speak the truth, that is plain: (the men of Rohan) do not lie, and therefore they are not easily deceived."
For all the talk about truth these days, more is said than done. Like the believers two millennia ago, our true love for truth will be revealed when we live the truth. Jesus is the truth who lives in us. Because there was no deceit in his mouth, he convicts us of our double standards. Jesus, the truth, sets us free to tell the truth and live the truth today.