Truth. I’ve been thinking a lot about that word lately. The telling of the truth – or lack thereof – can have irreversible impact. Sometimes it’s a positive impact and, unfortunately sometimes it’s a negative one. At least initially.
I’m thinking of a young woman employed at a nursing home who voiced her disapproval of the shameless abuses of staff and residents she’d been witnessing. She ended up being socked with a manufactured case against her from the state.
I’m thinking of a young man who stood up for what he believes and defended the sanctity of the marital bond. He ended up being alienated by his friends.
I’m thinking of a woman who poured herself into a project, tried to avoid the mutual backstabbing and lying of its board of directors, and spoke up about detrimental principles being imposed. She ended up with a good swift kick.
All three of these individuals held firm to the truth and suffered for it.
Does that mean we should stop telling the truth? Absolutely not. If we suffer for the truth, then we’re in good company. St. Paul did. St. Joan of Arc did. Our Lord Jesus did. And so must we.
St. Paul tells us this in his Second Letter to Timothy:
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth. (2Ti 2:15)
If we rightly explain the word of truth, we’ll be rewarded by our heavenly Father. We may have to suffer for it here on earth, but we’ll spend Eternity rejoicing that we did.
St. Peter assures us of that in the following passages from his First Letter:
In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials… (1Pe 1:6)
If you endure when you are beaten for doing wrong, what credit is that? But if you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have God’s approval. (1Pe 2:20)
But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated… (1Pe 3:14)
For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will, than to suffer for doing evil. (1Pe 3:17)
Take heart, those who suffer for telling the truth. Your Father in heaven can look right into your heart. He knows your suffering, and he’ll be waiting with open arms to welcome you into heaven.