Summary: In this stand-alone message to end 2007, Dave makes the point that we never find God until we face the truth, and we only find God to the degree that we face the truth.
Wildwind Community Church
David K. Flowers
December 30, 2007
What is truth? Dallas Willard is one of my favorite thinkers and writers, and I like how he defines truth. He says truth is what you run into when you make a foolish decision. Think about that. Some people, as soon as they hear that question asked, assume they are in for a boring, philosophical sermon. But nothing is more important to your daily life and how it feels to live life as you than knowing and living in the truth. Because truth is out there and if you don’t know what it is, and live your life according to it, you will run into the consequences and they will have painful effects in your life.
When you refuse to live in truth, the result will be darkness of some kind. I stand here this morning with some problems in my life that are the direct result of refusing to live in truth. I have talked to you many times about the financial journey Christy and I have been on – how things were so bad for us a couple years ago and how we finally disciplined ourselves to make a budget and stick to it. We did well for a long time.
See, a budget, a spending plan, is a tool that forces you to live in truth. When it comes to money, many of us don’t want to live in truth. We’d rather not know how bad things are. We’d rather not know we don’t have any money. We’d rather not face the fact that we’re overspending and financing ourselves into oblivion. We’d rather go out and enjoy the short-term good feelings of acquiring than live a more disciplined and frugal life. You and I have these denial mechanisms in our lives that are always standing at the door, always ready to kick in and provide excuses to justify whatever behaviors or attitudes we want to indulge in. When it comes to your finances, living on a budget keeps that from happening. The budget keeps truth in your face, keeps the numbers at the front of your mind.
And sometimes truth hurts. Reality usually isn’t as comfortable as our fantasies. In my fantasies, I can stash away enough money to send my kids to college. I can move out of the starter home we live in and into something a bit more spacious where my two youngest girls can have their own room and where we would have more space to entertain. In reality, Christy and I have student loans that are equivalent to owning an extra house. In reality, we’ll pay on these loans, and pay, and pay, and pay, and pay, and most of our disposable income will be used for that purpose for decades. So the truth is that in spite of the fact that between the two of us we bring in a comfortable income, things will continue to feel very tight for a very long time, no matter how well we manage our resources. That’s reality. That’s truth. And that stinks. And sometimes I get discouraged with truth and I want to live in my fantasies (falsehood) where I have more flexibility and can do more things for my family. And so a few months ago, I just took my hands off the wheel. I stopped entering receipts and tracking our spending. I didn’t stop completely – then it would have been more obvious to me that I was in denial of reality, ignoring the truth. So I tinkered a little bit – enough to convince myself that I had a handle on things. But I ignored what the numbers were telling me and Christy and I both did our thing.