The Power of Telling the Truth

Julia Downey Davis

READ : Mark 1:1-5

And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him … confessing their sins. (v. 5)

I remember when voice-activated computer response systems first appeared in the customer service world. Instead of entering an endless series of touch-tone numbers, I could say “deposit accounts” or “customer returns” and have my call directed to the correct department. It suddenly mattered if I tried to carry on other conversations or muttered incoherently while working my way through the computer phone maze. My words made a difference!

Words of truth about myself can also bring change. Part of the change that comes is personal. When I agree with God about my sin, he is faithful to forgive and cleanse me (1 John 1:9). But speaking the truth can also bring corporate change. When I tell the truth about myself to others, my openness can encourage them likewise to live more honestly before God and people.

Those people from Judea who came to sincerely confess their sins before John the Baptist benefited both personally and as a community. No wonder they flocked to him; as Jesus would later say, “the truth will make you free” (John 8:32).


Lord, I am grateful that you respond to me in grace when I acknowledge the truth about myself. Help me to speak the truth to myself and others.