The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth

Fake news everything is fake news … been reflecting on this a bit recently and thinking about the subject of ‘dits’ .. a ‘dit’ is naval parlance for a ‘story’ all of which are based on fact … some of course more so than others, but that’s what a good dit should be … in fact Jesus spun dits (you civvies call them parables) and these were not actually true … they were stories made up to make a point.

When in the Royal Navy I used to love the pipes (or broadcasts) that were often made from the gangway when the ship arrived in a foreign port … ‘Jack Blair, naval tailor, is now in attendance on the jetty’. (Jack Blair was the approved tailors where you got your Number 1 uniform fitted, medals sewn on and you could buy terrible run ashore civvies as well – they had shops in all main UK base ports and vans that visited the ships when alongside). Anyway the pipe would be made when arriving alongside in downtown Dar Es Salam or somewhere and of course some young lad would appear at the gangway to pick up his Number 1 uniform that he forget to get before he left UK …. not a true pipe … Jack Blair’s van was not on the jetty, fake news!

As a Divisional Officer (DO) all I ever wanted was for the lads and lasses in my care to tell the truth. Like the lad who was up in front of the skipper after a mass raid on the Junior Rates messes resulted in about 40 bottles of illicit Pussers Rum bought in Antigua being confiscated. There was no mitigation. They were all guilty. Simple. However at the Captains table (where the Captain ‘tried’ sailors who were on a charge and dealt out punishments etc), after they were marched in in groups of 4 (there were so many of them up on the same charge!), when asked if anyone had anything to say, this young lad said ‘Yes Sir’. As his DO my heart sunk … what is he going to say? He will drop himself in it even more! He then spun this ‘dit’ about his Dad being ex RN and the rum was for him. The skipper called his bluff and said that he would keep a bottle back for his dad. When we got back into Guzz (Plymouth) after the deployment the skipper actually presented dad with this bottle of rum … Dad was indeed ex RN and thought this whole thing was brilliant! It was the truth … his dad was expecting the rum … great ending to this dit (and completely true!!!!!!)!

Truth is very much in the public eye at the moment with the constant claims about lies and ‘fake news’. Very often one man (or womans!) word against another, slightly ambiguous evidence, dodgy character references etc etc … who do we believe? Going back a bit further there were the recent tragic revelations about Jimmy Saville … who lived a lie all his life … and no-one believed the true allegations from the victims … all is not what it seems on the surface.

So how are you at presenting the truth to those around you? Does your outward appearance show the real you? Are you living some kind of lie to those around you? Pretending to be something you know deep down isn’t who you really are or want to be? Sometimes we can even keep this stuff from those closest to us and when asked ‘how are you?’ reply ‘fine’ … when actually that is fake news and we are not fine at all.

So what does the Bible have to say about truth? What is it challenging us to do?

In Matthew Ch 5 v 38 Jesus is recorded as saying this: ‘You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.’

Well that’s easy isn’t it? If you are struggling with ‘living a lie’ do try and find someone you can trust to open up to and begin to reveal the real you … where your yes means yes and your no means no. When deployed away from home there were always guys who did not want to go on a traditional ‘run ashore’ but pretended they did due to peer pressure .. not being true to themselves. If someone presented an alternative run ashore (ie bit of sightseeing, meal, back on board) they were happy because that was really what they wanted to do .. but often needed someone to give them ‘permission’ to be true to themselves. Jesus gives us all that opportunity to be true to who we were created to be …