Living Truthfully, chapter 3: Why It’s So Easy to Live Untruthfully

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Chapter 3 – Why It’s So Easy to Live Untruthfully

“Despite our basic intelligence and our ability to make wise choices, many of us don’t! In 2006 Daniel Goleman wrote a groundbreaking book called Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ.   The book explains why sometimes very smart people do very stupid things. I consider myself a pretty smart person and I know I have done some really stupid things. How about you? Does this sound like anyone you know? Very intelligent people, who may be excellent at knowing how to help others, can nevertheless lack the emotional intelligence to know how to be the person they teach others to be. Why is it so easy for us to live untruthfully, even when we might know how to guide others into truth?

I will be posting those chapter summaries (which are direct quotes from each chapter) over the next couple of weeks. That will give you a good idea what the book is about and whether you think you will be interested in reading it when it is finally available. If you read these posts, I sincerely ask you to consider leaving a comment for me. Your questions and comments will only help me deliver a better book, and I want to write the best book I can possibly write.

Living Truthfully, chapter 2: What Is Truth

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Chapter 2 – What Is Truth

“You have probably heard before that an airplane pilot will not know whether he is up or down if he is surrounded by clouds and cannot see the ground or the horizon, unless an instrument on the panel tells him which way is up. If that instrument breaks, he is in very big trouble. The horizon is truth. It is the harsh reality you will have to deal with if you lose your bearings. When you realize that truth is simply what is (that truth is the same as reality) it becomes obvious that there is nothing greater in life to pursue than truth. To pursue truth is to pursue reality – a way of living in the world that is consistent with the way things actually are, not the way we dream, desire, or wish for them to be. You cannot make proper decisions if you do not know the truth about your life and your situation.

This means, then, that truth is basic and essential information. In order to make a right decision about something you may need to possess quite a bit of knowledge, but the very least amount of knowledge you need is accurate knowledge about what is the truth of your situation. That is why our tendency to deceive ourselves (we will look closely at this in chapter three), and the ease with which we do this, is a big problem. We simply cannot fly right if we don’t know the truth.”

I will be posting those chapter summaries (which are direct quotes from each chapter) over the next couple of weeks. That will give you a good idea what the book is about and whether you think you will be interested in reading it when it is finally available. If you read these posts, I sincerely ask you to consider leaving a comment for me. Your questions and comments will only help me deliver a better book, and I want to write the best book I can possibly write.

Living Truthfully, chapter 1: Living Untruthfully

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Chapter 1 — Living Untruthfully

“A lot of people are living untruthfully, in darkness (synonymous spiritually with falsehood, lies, denial, self-deception, bondage, and unreality). In eighteen years as a pastor, fifteen years as a counselor, and five years as a college professor, I unfortunately get a front row seat to most of the ways people refuse to engage reality. Pastors, perhaps more than most, know what it feels like to have scars on our knees from hours spent praying a) for people who refuse to walk out into the light and therefore seem to actually care less about their lives than we do, and b) for people who sincerely want to live truthfully but have spent so long in darkness that even a hint of light is frankly excruciating for them. (People in both groups are suffering, but only people in the second group know it.) Either way, living untruthfully is ultimately a dead end. To live untruthfully is to constantly betray and neglect ourselves in big ways, for the sake of remaining comfortable in some smaller way.”

My search for a publisher for my book, Living Truthfully, has begun in earnest. It is hard to explain the reasons behind all the hold-ups. They are sometimes legitimate problems and issues with the manuscript or proposal that I have to resolve. Other times I get really busy and just don’t put in the time. Still other times I’m paralyzed temporarily by fear and have to talk myself into keeping moving. My proposal is now finished, which means I have summaries written for each chapter. I will be posting those chapter summaries (which are direct quotes from each chapter) over the next couple of weeks. That will give you a good idea what the book is about and whether you think you will be interested in reading it when it is finally available. If you read these posts, I sincerely ask you to consider leaving a comment for me. Your questions and comments will only help me deliver a better book, and I want to write the best book I can possibly write.

Truth and Civility Election Watch Pledge

Could you sign on to this pledge?

Truth and Civility Election Watch Pledge

For the duration of the election season, I hereby pledge to uphold the highest standards of truth and civility in word, thought, and deed.

On my honor, I will:
•    Just say no to crazy email forwards, and to any other noxious electronic communication that comes my way.
•    Communicate in a spirit of truth, humility, love, and patience with all people I come in contact with, despite our political disagreements or family relationship.
•    Question any and all statements that sound mean, vindictive, or absurd; that provide no source or context; or that are politically motivated. So, pretty much everything you hear on cable TV news.
•    Share and enjoy stories of folks who are living out an attitude of truth and civility. Make sure each story meets both requirements: Nice people telling lies don’t count.
•    As a witness for God, encourage and spread a message of hope and reconciliation to a world that is deeply divided by political and cultural differences. Like Jesus taught.

Source: Sojourners

Great idea.  Of course the problem is the number of people who don’t know a crazy or obnoxious email forward when they see it, but think it’s the Gods-honest-truth.

Truth, prt. 1

Our mission at Wildwind Church is to help people find, face, and follow truth.  I could write a book on each of these.  In fact, I will almost definitely do exactly that when I am finished with the book I’m currently working on (my working title is “You Know More About God Than You Think”).

But to kick off this series of posts about truth, I thought I’d start with something simple, yet thought-provoking. Someone recently asked me how you know when you have found truth.  My answer was as follows:

A good sign that you have found truth is this: truth is that thing that sometimes stings, but to which you nevertheless find yourself mysteriously drawn at a certain point in your life. It’s also the thing you find yourself wanting to reject over and over after you have found it, because it means you’re going to have to change.  People rarely struggle that way with falsehood. Falsehood almost never stings and is incredibly easy to accept, because it feels good and is comfortable.

This is brief, and a bit simplistic, but it’ll do for our purposes as I move into a series of posts about truth.

Why should you read these posts?  Because truth is what you have to deal with eventually — some way or somehow.  Truth is what you run into when you make a bad decision.  Truth is the piper that will eventually demand to be paid.  Truth is that thing that, if you find it and align your life with it, will make life go fairly well for you.  If you do not, it will cost you sooner or later.  It’s not a matter of if, only of when.