The Damage of the Half-Truth

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Check out today's Remix Section in Genesis 20. In my not so humble opinion, I have always had a way with words. When I was a kid I was the master at spinning things in a way that made me look a lot better then I was.

My best move in the arsenal was the “half-truth.” For those of you who weren’t a manipulative child… a half-truth is any time you tell the truth… But only the part of the truth that you want people to hear, while leaving out the other part that wont get you what you want.

One of my classic examples was me coming home “sick” from school. On more than one occasion I would tell the teacher that I was sick and needed to go to the bathroom to throw up. I taught myself how to force throw up on command so I would go to the bathroom and force it up so my face looked flush, and if I could manage it, I would also have a few drops of puke on my shirt. Gross right? But it got me my goal… I could go to the office and tell them that I was sick (of school) and (forced myself) threw up and needed (wanted) to go home. My Dad was off during the day so he would come pick me up and I was good to go.

My parents eventually figured me out and began having my grandma pick me up, which was far less fun because she had me lay down and would only serve me broth.

We all tell half-truths when it is convenient right? It’s tax season after all. Or how about on a report? Or when you are explaining to your spouse why you were out with the guys so late?

We all love the half-truth when we are telling it, but what about when other people are using it against us?

Abraham was afraid that because his wife was hot kings would kill him and take her. So he would tell a half-truth… that she was his sister since she was his half sister from their dad.

One king then took her into his harem but didn’t have sex with her yet. It was at this point that God came into the story and explained to the king that he just stole another guy’s wife, and God would punish him if he didn’t give her back.

The King tells Abraham, “What have you done to us? What were you thinking? What have I ever done to deserve your bringing such great shame and guilt on me and my kingdom? You have done things to me that should never be done to another human being.”[1]

God took care of Abraham, despite his fear and stupid half-truths, and provided safe passage out of the land.

But why did Abraham keep telling half-truths? Why we struggle with the same thing? I think it is because we are simply afraid.

We are afraid to tell the whole truth, because maybe people wont like us as much, or they won’t be impressed. We are afraid that if people knew the whole truth they would reject us, or we would not get the outcome we desired.

Fear destroys lives, and distracts us from the truth.

Have you been struggling with telling half-truths because of fear? I have.

There is hope though… When we stop making excuses and honestly just ask God to heal us and help us to live honestly and with integrity those half-truths will turn into the whole truth. Because when we tell the whole truth we are handing control over to God, and he is much better with the truth then we are. So let’s give that a try.


[1] Genesis 20:10 The Voice