John 8:31-32 (CEB)

31 Jesus said to the Jews who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teaching. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”


“The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable.” Variations on this quote have been attributed to folks as varied as President James Garfield and feminist Gloria Steinem (the language of her version is a bit stronger).

I’d say it this way: “Before the truth can you free, it first has to make you really uncomfortable.”

The first step to changing for the better is to recognize the nature of what is – even when it’s not pretty. No one enjoys hearing that kind of truth. Maybe it’s the truth about ways the things we do hurt others. Maybe it’s the truth about how our old patterns of thinking led us away from rather than toward God. Or maybe it’s a positive truth that you need to counteract the negative script you constantly have rolling in your head.

God’s truth has the power to reshape our lives – to free us from the old ways that hurt ourselves and others. But in order to do that, first we need to face the truths that make us most uncomfortable. It’s the only way!

by Joe Monahan

For Pondering & Prayer

Is there someone from whom you need to seek honest feedback today? We’re talking honest feedback about how you’re doing as a parent, a partner, a friend….or in any role that matters to you. The truth may not be that easy to hear, but it just might be the first step to transformation. Do your best to listen and understand without being feeling the need to be defend yourself.

Prayer: Holy God, open our hearts and our minds to your truth. When we are not being honest with ourselves, help others to be honest with us. And through it all, open our hearts to hear the truth of your love for us – our belovedness in the face of our brokenness. Amen.