The Truth Will Set You Free!

Sep 18, 2023



Jesus left us this promise in John 8:32: “The truth shall set you free.” I don’t think He was telling us to shout it from the rooftops, to tell everyone the truth about us, but more to admit the whole truth of who we are to ourselves and to God so that we can “live in the truth” (v. 31).  For each of us, if we admit to ourselves and to God, who we are and what we have done in our lives, we are giving up the self-protection, the denial, the false image of who we are before God, and that will free us of the burdens of hiding from the sins and things that we have done that shame us or leave us feeling guilty. He wants us to shed the burden of hiding that truth from ourselves and from Him. Jesus, in another time and place, in Matthew 11:28-30 said that “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”


It also helps to say the truth out loud to ourselves or to one other person, such as a close friend, a spiritual director or a therapist, or to a group like AA. Or to write it down as “morning pages” in a journal like Julia Cameron suggests in The Artist’s Way. By saying it aloud and/or journaling about it, the issue now disclosed becomes more real, more concrete as we speak it out loud or write it down, and we become more able to deal with it. Each of these ways is the same as offering the issue up to God for healing. Once we admit it to ourselves and to another, the issue then becomes healed through the Holy Spirit, and, over time, we will experience the lightness of having actually dealt with it.


As we follow Jesus, we will experience the highlighting of a number of issues that stand between us and God. As we offer them up for healing, over time, we become aware of the lighter sense of the load we are carrying and we will begin to sense the rising of the fruit of the spirit in us. These qualities become the true nature of love in us over time: “love, peace, joy, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and humility” (Galatians 5:22-23). As the fruit of the Spirit grow in us and start to be expressed through our caring for the people we meet, we are truly becoming servants of God, able to love God through loving our neighbors and ourselves as God loves us.


This is the whole purpose of who we are to be as servants of God. No matter what He calls us to do in this world, our purpose is always an expression of God’s kind of love, not the human kind. Just think of what that would mean in your life: as you grow into God’s kind of love, you will experience the nature of the kingdom of God in your life through the indwelling Spirit of God. For the kingdom of God is a community of the people of God who have repented of their sin and now seek, above all, to live in His kingdom, doing His kind of work in the world, whatever purpose the Lord has assigned to them. For every purpose has as its base the love of the people that we have been called to serve, to forgive, to help, to have compassion on. These are the people in whom we see the vision of Christ himself. Follow Jesus and you will see the true nature of each of these people, these children of God, even yourself, as you serve them.


To serve others means not just to give them housing or food or whatever else they need, it also means to get to know them, to love them as they are, in whatever circumstances they find themselves. Just getting to know them is such an act of love, because you are showing how truly interested in and invested you are in them. You are not judging them, condemning them because of the condition of their lives. You are actually loving them exactly where they are, for it really does not matter in what state they find themselves, with you serving them, they are now experiencing what love, mercy, and compassion really are. And the truth of God’s kind of love will set them free, also, if and when they decide to embrace it.


Questions to ponder over the week: Have you admitted the truth about yourself, all that you have said and done, to God and to yourself? Have you taken in God’s forgiveness for all of who you are? Have you forgiven yourself? Can you accept God’s love and even love yourself?


Blessing for the week: May we be the people of God who live in His forgiveness and love and can even love and forgive ourselves. May we, in turn, pass on God’s love and forgiveness to everyone we meet.


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Two Announcements

  1. I am giving away a 10-week journaling guide to Jesus’s Two Great Commandments. If you are interested, email me at and I will email it to you, free of charge.
  2. My latest books, “Called to Help the Poor and Needy” and “A Study Guide to the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount” are now in bookstores and on line. The first is about the more than 2,000 verses in the Bible which detail God’s instructions for caring for those in need. The second is a journaling/pondering guide to Jesus’s most complete sermon.


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