"Jesus said, 'If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,
and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:31-32
When I was a child, my father owned a hardware store in Pearl, MS. I have all sorts of fond memories growing up in that store, especially the blue scooter I zoomed up and down the aisles on every day, supposedly “helping customers.” As a young boy, who had just recently started Kindergarten, I was always looking for ways to impress my friends. After school one day, as I was riding around the store on my blue scooter, I thought: “How can I impress my friends? Maybe I could bring them something to win them over even more?” I started searching the aisles for trinkets I could take to my “best” friends – friends worthy of daily prizes from the “coolest” friend they’d ever known.
I turned onto the next aisle when something spectacular caught my eye: the nuts and bolts aisle! Being in kindergarten, I had no idea what nuts and bolts were used for! I hopped off my scooter and started examining the variety of selections, picking the worthy pieces and stuffing them into my blue-jean overall pockets. The next day at school, I instantly became KING! I was handing out nuts and bolts left and right to my worthy peasants. I had become the class warlord by the time my mother picked me up that day. From there, the madness continued every day: me stuffing more nuts and bolts in my pockets than the day before. A few days later, my teachers began noticing nuts and bolts falling out of student’s pockets, stuffed in our cubbies, and lying on the bathroom floor. Eventually, their detective work found me out, which in return, they snitched to my mother, a teacher at the same school!
That night, I was confronted by my parents. They asked me if I had been taking nuts and bolts from the store and giving them to my friends. Of course, I had no idea what they were talking about! They told me what the punishment would be if I were lying. I went back to my room and pulled out the hidden loot I had planned on dispersing the next day. I knew my parents were on to me, but I had already lied, so something sneaky had to be done to get out of this mess. A brilliant, light-bulb moment came: flush the nuts and bolts down the toilet! They’d never know! I took the bounty and poured them into the toilet, flushing them down over several rounds. Later that night, when I had to use the restroom for more than covering up evidence, the toilet began to overflow! Terrified, I ran into the living room and told my parents something was wrong.
More than 25 years later, I can still see my father leaning over the toilet with the plunger. I can still hear the subtle clinking of individual nuts and bolts returning from their demise. I can still hear my mother saying my name over and over in disbelief as another nut or bolt clinked from the pull of the plunger! After this fiasco, let’s just say that night and the rest of the week didn’t end well. The Kindergarten nut and bolt warlord had been defeated. The truth had come out, yet, it had set me free. Through discipline, humility, shame, and grace, I had learned a valuable lesson: the truth will always come out. My parents still laugh about that story whenever we talk about parenting or other challenges life brings us. I was honored to do Youth Ministry for close to eight years before coming to New Covenant. John 8:31-32 were always two verses I pounded into my students’ heads. It was always such a blessing to witness those who believed this truth in God’s Word. The truth might not be the greatest, the most fun, the most popular, or the most appealing answer to give or hear from someone else, but in the end, it sets us free because we have lived according to God’s Word. We have defeated our sinful natures once more, because lying can only get us so far. We have the greatest example of TRUTH itself in Jesus Christ, who affirms for us daily that “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” John 14:6. Pursue the truth this month and LEARN how it sets you free in all things!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.