We are living in a new day– a day when alternative facts carry the same weight as real facts. Up is down. Down is up. Light is dark. Dark is light. Over is under and under is over and no one seems to worry because what they think is their reality – and no can dispute anything because to do so would mean arguing with one’s own alternative facts.
What? I know, it’s crazy! We can’t believe anyone, statistics are manipulated, truths are only half-truths, lies are non-existent, and whatever anyone wants to say, on whatever topic they want to say it, someone will corroborate it, and someone will deny it. Oh wait – someone on their side will corroborate it, and someone on the other side will deny it.
Nevertheless, for some of us, alternative facts are not all that bad. I will be the first to admit that this new and improved universe of alternative facts is a comfortable place for those of us who have been dabbling in alternative realities for a good portion of our lives.
I kind of like living in my alternative facts fantasy because sometimes it beats the heck out of reality. There have been times in my life when I have retreated into alternative facts so fast that I’m surprised the rotation of the earth didn’t reverse.
You know what I mean – those times when we say to ourselves and everyone else, “I’m fine” when fine is the furthest thing from what we are. And what about those times when someone we care about attacks us – how long do we wait before we tell everyone “Oh, they apologized, we’re good!” when good isn’t anywhere near where we are.
I don’t think any of us are above utilizing alternative facts to hide some aspect of our lives. However, choosing to dwell in our alternative universe is nothing more than living in the Land of Lies. And who is the father of lies: The Devil. He uses lies and deceit to derail us and to draw us away from trusting God. God is truth.
When we choose to hide the truth, for whatever reason – to protect other relationships, to project an image that is easier for other people to look at, to appear stronger, more loving or more lovable, more popular, or maybe less disruptive – we are building a persona upon a perilously shaky foundation of alternative facts.
Why do we do that? Whether we are the President in a 24/7 spotlight, or a total unknown living in obscurity in the middle of nowhere – why would we want people to think something about us that is not exactly the whole truth?
I think the reason is that we don’t trust God with the truth. We feel more comfortable living a lie, telling a lie, projecting a lie, embracing a lie, or snuggling up to the Father of Lies, than we do acknowledging the sovereignty of the one true God.
Because God is sovereign –exercising his rule over all creation – then every circumstance of our lives is fully under his authority. Every circumstance. God is fully in control of all things and is making everything in our lives work out according to his plan.
That doesn’t mean we don’t have free will to make decisions – the fact that we choose alternative facts (lies) to protect or hide ourselves and others from truth is proof of that. God would never dictate that we lie because that is outside the realm of God’s character; it is impossible for God to lie.
However, if we truly trusted God to cause everything to work together for good, then we would not be afraid to tell the truth. We would not be afraid to reveal that we are often weak, less than fine, sometimes hurting deeply, and probably never quite as successful as the impression we so fiercely protect.
Actually, would we project anything other than who we truly are: sinners saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus for God’s good purpose? Is there any image greater than that?
But what about when we indulge alternative facts to protect other people? Are we afraid of trusting their lives to God? Is God not big enough to work out his good purpose for them just as he does for us?
Not only does God rule over the nations, he rules over our lives – we need not be afraid of living wholly in the truth. But, this is a hard thing to do. A friend recently asked what is the hardest part of trusting God, and I replied, “Trusting God.” It is very challenging to simply choose to trust God and act on that trust doing what we know is right, saying what we know is truth.
This is not about spilling every fact of our lives out into the open. We do need to be judicious in how much we share with other people. It is good to have strong personal and private boundaries. However, in the things we choose to share, we need not be afraid to tell the truth because God will use it for his good purpose, no matter who hears it.
From his throne, he observes all who live on earth. He made their hearts, so he understands all they do. — Psalm 33:14-15 NIV
God knows your heart, he knows mine. He is trustworthy. He is sovereign. He is good. There is no need to plump anything up with alternative facts, God already knows the truth, and he is already using all truth for our good. Up is up. Down is down. Dark is dark. Light is light. Nothing has changed.
Click here for more information on Marcia’s Devotional, 365 Days of Grace