II Timothy 4:3 “The time will come when people will not listen to the true teaching. But people will find more and more teachers who please them. They will find teachers who say what they want to hear.” ERV
There is no better pairing in life than chocolate with nuts, and in my opinion, Snickers candy tops the list. In my dreams, the streets of heaven are paved in chocolate and the mansions constructed out of Snickers bars.
A number of years ago, I ran across the biggest Snickers disappointment ever, not that I am still bitter about it! At the grocery store, I spied a bag of Snickers advertised as the “New Fun Size.” Immediately I had to have the bag, because as fun as I already esteemed the Snickers bar, these, I was confident, must be even more fun! I grabbed the bag and placed it in my buggy. (Yes, I’m from the south and call the grocery cart a buggy.)
As soon as I arrived home, I opened the bag and immediately my fun vanished. I stared in disbelief at the size of the “Fun.” It was one fourth the size of a regular-size bar of Snickers and merely half the size of a snack-size bar! How had I been so gullible? I am still miffed at Snickers for such propaganda, because, let’s face it, there is absolutely nothing more fun about a tiny Snickers bar!
When Paul warned there would be people who would not hear the truth but would listen to what is pleasing to them, I thought about my Snickers bar. Propaganda works because we hear what we desire to hear and believe what we desire to believe. We humans can take God’s truth and slightly alter it just like the Snickers bar advertisement. One small adjustment is all that is needed to change absolute truth. Remember, a slight addition of wording was just enough to convince me that a tiny Snickers bar was more fun than a large Snickers bar.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke radical truth to his audience. He taught loving others like we love ourselves. So, can we alter that truth slightly to, “Love others only if they are similar to you?” Jesus’ truth instructed honesty in all things. So, do our "little white lies” count as dishonest if we only slightly lighten-up the truth? Jesus’ truth said to love your enemies. But, perhaps it’s ok to tweak that to, “Love your enemies as long as they agree with you religiously.” Jesus’ truth said to go the second mile in helping others. So, is it ok for us to first determine if they are worthy of mile-two assistance? You see how these ever-so-slight changes to Jesus’ truth radically alter the meaning of Jesus’ message.
Jesus spoke absolute truth which must not be changed, tweaked, or stretched. Regardless of how we market it, His truth remains truth. And even though real truth is sometimes hard for us to swallow, it is absolutely how God intends for us to live.
Father God, may we ever search for your truth.