“But I told the truth!” Through her sobs it was clear that she understood how wrong she was in what she’d done. She’d broken the trust of her husband yet again with another affair. This one she’d managed to keep hidden for the past 5 years.
“I’ll never do it again!” she promised, pleading with him to not follow through with the separation. “I told the truth! Why won’t you believe me?”
In spite of her pleading, her husband had had enough of her lies. She had violated his trust one too many times and this time she lost him for good.
Unfortunately, this scenario is played out in numerous venues and relationships far too often. People who have done something wrong, finally get caught, “tell the truth” after a litany of lies and then are shocked that there are still consequences for their choices.
Some Christians will often respond with indignation, “Why won’t he just forgive her? He needs to show her grace! Jesus came to demonstrate truth and grace (John 1:14) and so should he.”
Somehow this distorted idea has crept into our present value system. What idea? That once I confess to the truth of what I’ve done, that all painful consequences should magically melt away like the dew in the morning sunlight because I “fessed up.” The rationale goes something like this: “After all, we are to be gracious and forgiving of one another as Christians.” Sounds good. Right?
Sorry. While that may sound biblical, it’s not. A biblical understanding of Truth and Grace is that grace doesn’t exempt us from consequences for foolish choices. Grace means we don’t throw someone away and brand them as worthless.
Forgiveness can be offered to us when we finally confesses to what we’ve done, but what we must also accept is that we may still lose our job, our marriage, our home, our children, our reputation and our friends because of our choices.
Telling the truth doesn’t exempt us from the painful consequences of the truth being known. It’s not Truth or Consequences but Truth And Consequences.