Can a carefully-trained Southern woman from a long line of carefully-trained Southern women really wear the “Belt of Truth?”
As Paul begins to summarize the apparel and the defensive and offensive weapons available to Christians engaged in spiritual warfare, the first piece named is the Belt of Truth.
Ephesians 6:14 — “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist . . .”
I am currently in a Monday morning Bible study at First Baptist Athens facilitated by Dr. Betty Dean Newman as we work through Priscilla Shirer’s study of “The Armor of God.” Check it out here. You might remember Priscilla as the leading character in the movie “War Room,” but you need to also know her as a powerful teacher of the Bible. She researches deeply, and her verbal and visual illustrations are enlightening and provocative. Our study this week focused on the belt of truth in the well-known and much-preached-about passage of Ephesians 6:13-20.
In the video we saw, Priscilla went into great depth about the importance of the belt to facilitate the other pieces of the armor, the size and weight of the belt. Then, she began to remind us about falsehoods and myths surrounding each of us that need to be recognized and replaced with the truth of God’s Word.
This has set my mind swirling on the whole concept of truth and its importance.
Is it okay to tell a friend — “I love your hair.” “That outfit looks great on you.” “Have you lost weight?” “Your casserole/cake/meatloaf/fried chicken is the best I’ve ever eaten.” “Your solo was beautiful.” etc. etc. etc. when maybe those statements would be stretching the truth? Is it especially okay if we follow our compliment with “Bless your heart?” My Southern upbringing certainly applauds and encourages such talk.
What about when we tell OURSELVES — “Just one more bite of pie won’t hurt anything,” or “I deserve this (expensive) dress,” or “I’m an adult. I can watch an R-rated movie without it having any effect. After all, I’m here alone,” or “I need to check my Facebook and emails. I’ll get to my Bible reading in a minute.” There may be GRAINS of truth in each of those statements, but are they healthy, wise, edifying words of truth?
I have always been a big believer in transparency. I once heard — “If you always tell the truth, you don’t have to have such a good memory.” When someone asks me a direct question, I do my very best to give a totally truthful answer. But, does that mean that I have to spew out truth when, in fact, it is someone else’s truth, someone else’s story to share? Just because something is TRUE doesn’t give me permission to ever divulge the confidence of my husband and those who trust me.
But, rather than dwell on these potential rabbit trails, I am quite certain that the Apostle Paul was referring to biblical truth — of which there is NO END. By staying constantly in the Word, we have a limitless supply of truth to “buckle around our (own) waists” and to share with those within our sphere of influence.
My personal challenges this week?
- Spend more time immersing myself in the TRUTH in God’s Word.
- Apply the truth of the Bible to the plague of untruth, innuendo, anger and distortion swirling in the media during these days. Hebrews 12:1-2, Isaiah 26:3. I should fix my eyes on Jesus, and rest on the promise that God will “keep in perfect peace those whose minds are set on Him,”