Thursday, January 9

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The Way of Truth: January 9
I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I have set my heart on your laws.
—Psalm 119:30
The power to choose is one of those distinctive, God-given traits that make us human. Even children delight in exercising this ability, learning early in life to voice an opinionated “No!”, deciding what foods on their high chair tray they’ll eat and which ones they’ll toss unceremoniously to the floor (or perhaps to the happy dog below). And as they get older, they establish their identity by choosing their own outfits, their own friends, and how they’ll spend their time.
God didn’t make us robots; he created human beings with a will, with the ability to choose. And that means we aren’t automatically programmed to go the way of truth. It’s a conscious choice we have to make. Psalm 119:30 says, “I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I have set my heart on your laws.”
So what will we choose to live by: the values of this world or God’s values? Will we choose to live by the motto “It’s all about me” or “Do what it takes to get ahead,” or will we choose the difficult but ultimately worthwhile way of living by the truth?
Corrie ten Boom, a Dutch woman who was imprisoned in a concentration camp for her part in hiding Jews during World War II, wrote a book called The Hiding Place that describes what happened to her and her family during those tumultuous years when Holland was occupied by the Nazis. I read the book as a teenager, and one story she recounts in it about truth-telling has haunted me—in a good way—ever since.
Corrie tells about visiting her sister-in-law, Nollie, and their children—two of whom were young men of age to be rounded up to work at Nazi munitions factories. During Corrie’s visit, the boys rushed into the house, panicked, because they’d heard the Nazis were on their way. Nollie quickly hid the boys in the root cellar and then threw a rug and a table over the trapdoor. Within minutes, the German soldiers banged on the door, their weapons drawn.
“Where are your men?” they demanded, nodding at Corrie’s niece, the boys’ younger sister.
The girl froze. She’d been raised to follow God’s commands, and she knew it was wrong to lie. The question came again, louder and more forceful this time: “Where are they?”
Finally the girl took a breath. “They’re under the table,” she said.
The soldiers threw off the tablecloth and looked under the table. Seeing nothing and assuming they were being mocked, they left, hurling threats and insults behind them.
After the soldiers were safely gone, some family members criticized the girl for putting her brothers in danger. But her mother commended her honesty. “God honors truth-telling with perfect protection,” she said.
I’m no theologian or philosopher—there may very well be occasions when a lie to protect someone is the lesser of two evils. But I am inspired by this kind of commitment to the truth—a commitment that supersedes even a rifle pointed in one’s face. And while telling the truth isn’t always a guarantee that we’ll evade danger, I do believe God honors that kind of devotion to truth.
Even when the stakes are high, may we, too, choose truth.
Today, what will you choose? Will you follow a path of your own making, or will you live by truth—by the way God has set out for you?

—Stephanie Rische

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