We could easily call this season that we’re living in the Time of Great Mistrust. Information dissemination is fraught with falsehoods. Some of it is intentional and some purely because we live in a sin-scarred world where even once-trusted sources can innocently mislead us. Political and religious leaders make poor choices they then attempt to cover up, and when their sin is exposed, we feel violated for placing our confidence in them. As a result, we begin to doubt all the leaders in our lives. We can’t even go to the grocery store without someone looking sideways at us — or us at them.
While we might feel that trustworthiness is at an all-time decline, the truth is “there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). That’s why God needed to put the ninth commandment on the Tablets of Testimony — You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor (Exodus 20:16) — and why the psalmist David reminds us that the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple (Psalm 19:7b).
When confusion and mistrust overwhelms us, we must look to the Scriptures to see what is true. The Ten Commandments lays out God’s expectations for His people and will never mislead or deceive us. In the New Testament, we see how Jesus lived on earth and provided us with a perfect model to follow.
In John 5:32-35, Jesus reminded His Jewish listeners that John bore witness to the truth, calling him a “burning and shining lamp.” Then He declared, “But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me” (John 5:36). He then called out the religious leaders for their unbelief and glory-seeking, saying that even when truth was laid out in front of them from Moses onward to the testimony of Jesus Christ their pride caused them to stumble.
In Matthew 23, Jesus said that the religious leaders enjoyed preaching but not practicing the Law. “They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger,” Jesus said in verse 4.
Does this sound a bit like today’s leaders who expect much of us but fail to model those ideals for us?
It’s important to remember we live in a fallen world and our source of truth is not found in the men and women around us but in Christ alone. When we’re discouraged by the lies — or tempted to perpetuate lies about others, may we look to God’s Word, trust in our Savior, and cry out to Him:
- Your testimony is sure, making wise the simple (Psalm 19:7b).
- Your decrees are very trustworthy (Psalm 93:5a).
- The works of Your hands are faithful and just; all Your precepts are trustworthy (Psalm 111:7).
- You promise me blessing when I keep Your testimonies, when I seek You with my whole heart (Psalm 119:2).
- May I delight in your testimonies as much as in all riches, for they are my counselors (Psalm 119:14, 24).