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Speaking truth

Truth. Paul describes a Christian’s “armor” in Ephesians 6 and mentions “truth as a belt tight around your waist.”

But what is truth and why did Paul associate truth with a belt? The answer begins back in Isaiah 11:5 where God wears a belt of righteousness and faithfulness; the Greek translation uses truthfulness instead of faithfulness.

You’ve no doubt heard someone talk about being “true to oneself?” A person who is faithful or “true to oneself” is the same everywhere they go and with everyone they meet. They are dependable rather than “changing with every passing breeze.”

They are honest and true.

Mark Twain said, “Truth is stranger than fiction, because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; truth isn’t.”

“This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people.” (1 Timothy 2:3–6)

It might help to know that Paul was sitting in a rented house under guard and had nothing better to do than observe the Roman guards at his door. Gradually he paired every piece of Roman armor to some Christian concept. The belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the sandals of peace, the shield of faith, and the helmet of salvation.

Maybe we can answer our question, “What is truth?,” by asking “Why did the Roman soldier wear a belt (a cingulum or balteus)? There are two reasons; it held his armor in place and it provided a place to carry the scabbard or sheath for his sword.

Truth holds our lives, our relationships, our communities, our states, our nation, and our world together.

Right now our world, our nation, our states, our communities, our relationships, and our lives are literally falling apart… due to a lack of truth. We are living in chaos… without truth.

By now, we’re all familiar with fake news and fake science and even fake fact-checkers. Social media has created a society in which everybody’s opinion carries the same validity and weight. We’re living in a world where opinion is truth.

Maybe some of you remember, “If you tell a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.”

So Paul draws a picture of his “warrior of God,” who puts on a belt of truth and hanging from his belt of truth is the Word of God… the ultimate truth of God. Franklin Graham has just called us all to quit arguing about who’s winning and who’s losing and simply pray that the truth will prevail.

We’ll be celebrating the beginning of a new year and maybe we ought to make one resolution… to speak and hear the truth.