Have you ever played Truth or Dare? It seemed to be a game that we always played at sleepovers. I never really understood it. Telling the truth was the easy part, and taking a dare was fun… if I ever actually got a turn at playing. I was usually friends with the girl who’s party it was, but the rest of the girls didn’t know me. So, they didn’t even know what kind of truth to try to extract.
I realize now the dangerous part of opening up yourself to any kind of question that someone with no boundaries might ask. What would happen if they asked the question that you did not want to answer? You either had to make up a really good lie, and tell it as truth, or decide to open up a part of you that you didn’t plan on revealing. Otherwise you would have to put a lampshade on your head and run around the house three times. Or something.
Here, where I am in ministry, sometimes the job feels like a perpetual game of truth or dare. But the game is reversed in a way. I am both the challenger and the doer. I am both asking myself to give the truth and try the dare daily.
My community deserves nothing less than the truth from me every time they see me. I never got good at selling a lie, even one that was very nearly the truth. I dare each day to do the best I can to serve and guide and help my people to go where they need to go. And to live the way they need to live.
Sometimes the challenge seems so great that I will collapse under the weight of it. Sometimes the truth is so hard that I would really rather tell the soft lie, the lie that will let people be more comfortable. But like I said… I’m really bad at those.
What I desire to be each day is an adventurous truth telling wonder, that blows people’s socks off by how amazing the truth can be. Because the truth can be amazing. The truth can be wonderful. The truth can be dangerous. The truth can be harmful, both to feelings, identities, and structures. The truth can be a way to start a new life.
I dare you to tell the truth today.
And, if you’re willing, go a step further. Tell the truth in love. Tell the truth that will help you grow closer to your spouse, children, or parents. Tell the truth in a way that builds the body of Christ, doesn’t tear it down. Tell the truth so that you may grow deeper in love with God.