Whatever you may think of the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails, here’s the question: how will we feel the impact of having watched the next (likely) president look straight into the camera...and consciously lie?
I tried hard to put that nicer and more southern, but the bare truth is that she said things she knew were false.
This hit me hard because I made the mistake of letting two grandchildren stay up late and watch the news with us on vacation. I could see the shock in their disillusioned faces as the camera switched back and forth between Clinton’s assertions--and the actual facts. Oh, the questions that followed.
What I”m really wondering, though, is how this will filter into our psyches--yours and mine.
Will there be this dark little voice growing louder in the back of our heads that points out our personal advantage at the expense of what is true or right? So maybe we just don’t admit the flaws in the contract. Or we somehow end up with stuff in our cart that the guy forgot to charge us for. Or perhaps we keep the relationship afloat long after we know we can’t marry the person.
Does it matter all that much if I say and do what is true here?
Like who tells the truth any more, really?
I don’t know about you, but I can feel a growing temptation to fudge things. I”m having to consciously think to myself, “Okay, Paula, state this upfront, just like it is, and let the chips fall where they may.”
I think often of Isaiah’s poetic words, “Truth has stumbled in the streets.” It’s just harder now to tell the truth. Harder, but more necessary.
I noted WSJ's Peggy Noonan's comment three days after the FBI announced its findings and it’s worth repeating here what she said:
Anything that increases public cynicism....is, at this point, a very particular and damaging sin. It spreads an air of social defeatism. It saps the civic will. It makes earnest and trusting people feel like dopes and dupes. It makes trusting parents look clueless to their children.
As Christians, we are a peculiar people following a God who took on our flesh and claimed to be the very embodiment of truth. Truth, as in telling the truth and doing what is true, is serious stuff for Christians. It has to be. No matter what is happening around us.
You may be wondering what on earth I said to saucer-eyed grandchildren as they watched a major public figure lie on national television.
As I stalled for time, strangely enough, Augustine came to mind. He lived in the decline of the once-great Roman empire. “Well, you know,” I said, paraphrasing his words, “Christians don’t put their faith in human leaders, in the City of Man. And you just saw the reason why. We are a people with our eyes set on the City of God.”
And between here and there, we tell the truth, even if it costs us, because we follow a Living God who is truly the King of all. To Whom we will give an account.