One of the most terrifying experiences for many people is telling the truth. I did.
I remember an incident when my sister and I were crossing the street near our home. Being the reckless big brother, I did not hold her hand when I crossed the street only to realize that I left her on the other side. (Kids, never do this to your younger sister.)
When she tried to cross the street by herself, she nearly got hit by a passenger jeep! (I thank God nothing happened or else my life would be different today - love you sis!).
Since nothing happened, I didn't see any point of telling my mom about the incident. But I already have a suspicion that my mom will be very mad when she finds out what happened. Until one day, one of our neighbors who saw the incident told the story to my mom and can you guess what my mom did to me?
She was thankful that nothing happened to both of us and she just told me to be more careful and never to leave my sister behind again. (That's my mom!)
The truth really sets you free! During the time I was keeping the incident to myself, I was filled with fear because I was scared what is going to happen to me when my mom finds out about it. I was fearful that I may get whipped 500 times and I would not get my weekly allowance and they will not give me any food for a week and I would be forced to kneel on the floor filled with salt, pebbles, ants and scorpions for 24 hours.
By the way, that is totally an exaggeration. As far as I can remember, the worst punishment I received from my mom is her loving embrace and tears falling from her eyes showing how much she cares even when I was doing the wrong things in life. (Her great love was more than enough to crush me which eventually, changed me!) My mom is a very loving and kind spirit person and I thank God for her.
It's really funny why we think of the cruelty to others even though we know they are the kindest person. Sometimes, this is how we think of our God. Every time we sin, we think that God is an unloving tyrant who gathers his angels to punish us whenever we make mistakes. We should know better on how much He loves us.
Your fear should never be more powerful than the truth.
In my example, the truth is my mom loves me. In the later example, the truth is God loves us. So why do we fear?
If you think of it, it is not the truth that frightens you. You are frightened by what will happen after people finds out about the truth.
Just like in the case of Lance Armstrong. For those of you who do not know Lance Armstrong, Lance is a former professional road racing cyclist. He had won the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times between 1999 and 2005, before being disqualified from each of those races and banned from cycling for life for doping offenses. He is the founder of the Livestrong Foundation which provides support for cancer patients.
I was one of the biggest believers of Lance. I even wrote his story of triumph over adversity in one of my blogs.
He had a heart and a dream but he did not have the conviction to be truthful to the people who believed him.
It is my belief that if he had told the truth and repented after winning his first Tour de France trophy, the people could have been more forgiving (in my case I would).
Even God changed his mind when he saw how the people of Nineveh repented for their sins. (Read the full story in Jonah 3:1-10)
Let's face it, nobody is perfect. I mean, "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone." (John 8:7)
What made Lance Armstrong from bad to worst was he embraced his wrong doing. He told lies in court just to prove that everyone was wrong.
This is totally different from the story that I'm about to tell you.
About three weeks back, my son sent me a text message telling me that he lost his wallet. Although he did not mention what was inside his wallet, I was more worried about the wallet because that was our special gift to him.
On my way home, he sent me a text message asking me not to ask him what happened or get mad because he wanted to stay optimistic. When we got home, her mom and I kept silent about the subject. However, we did tell him that we are going to pray for the person who found his wallet that he or she would be kind enough to return it back.
The next morning, while I was in the office, I received another text message from my son saying, "Daddy!!! Someone found my wallet!!!"
Since he was in school, he asked me if I could get his wallet. Being very happy myself in spite of my busy schedule, I left my office to meet the person and take the opportunity to personally thank him for his kindness.
I didn't know how to reward his kind gesture so I thought it would be a good idea to give him a copy of my book. For me, no monetary equivalent is enough to recompense a good deed. The least thing that you can do is encourage that person to do more of what he is doing.
When I entered their office, I saw this man smiling at me wearing a necklace with a cross pendant. At that moment, I knew that this is the man.
The man greeted me and he asked if I was the "dad" and I said yes then he went to his desk to get my sons wallet. He gave me the wallet and I shook his hands to thank him.
Although I already have a copy of my book in my pocket, I politely asked how I can reward him for his kindness. The man smiled and said, "No that's okay." Eventually, I pulled out a copy of my book and I gave it to him. I signed the book and he flashed a big smile and he also thanked me and then I left.
On my way home, I got curious what's inside the wallet. I noticed that there were coins popping out and many other things. On the stop light, I opened the wallet and to my surprise, there was more than $200 inside the wallet. (My son keeps more cash than me. All I have in my wallet are plastics!)
When my son arrived home, he was very happy he got his wallet back. I told him to send a text message to the man saying he has the wallet and to thank him again.
Later that night, while watching television in our living room, my son exclaimed these words, "dad, I'm missing $100!"
I was dumbfounded on what he said so I asked him, "are you sure you have $300 in your wallet?"
I added, "The last thing you do for a person who showed kindness to you is to think bad about him."
I told my son not to judge the person because it is not moral to accuse anybody of doing something until you have proven it.
I also told him that whatever he is thinking against the man, he has to stop these thoughts. The man returned his wallet and I think that's more than enough to stop his accusations. And even if the man took his money, I told him that he should still be grateful that he got his wallet and most of his money back. I told him to stop thinking about it and whoever got the money, they probably need it more than he does.
The following morning, my son called me and he said the man who found his wallet called him on his phone. Can you guess what the man told him?
In John 8:32 it says, "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
The man called him to confess that he took $100 in his wallet. The man told him that if he needs it back, they can meet together to return the money.
My son thanked him for being honest and he told him that he can have the $100 because he probably needs it more than he does.
Did the man have to call my son to admit he took the money?
I am not in a liberty to answer that question but one thing is for sure, I do admire him for his courage.
As to where that courage came from, I believe that it is from the grace of God.
A good man can fall but by the grace of God, they are given the courage to face the truth, to love, to forgive, to rise up again and they are set free.
God is the greatest!