The other day I googled “truth checkers” and started counting how many different options one has.  I stopped counting at 20, and then scrolled to see an almost limitless number of options beyond.  There even were some that talked about fact checking the fact checkers.  My favorite one – though I did not open it – was “The Psychology of Fact-Checking.”

Over the years as individuals and couples have come to me for counseling, I have heard many stories.  Two of the things I try to remember to say to everyone are “I am not a trained and certified counselor, and my time with you comes with no charge.  However, remember that you get what you pay for” and “You own this conversation, not me.  I will work very hard at not thinking about what we discuss when I see you outside of my office, and I will never discuss things with others without your permission.”  Another thing I am thinking, but do not mention, is that I will not do any fact-checking on the stories they tell me.

Many times the stories I hear while meeting with individual members of a couple offer very different perspectives.  Long ago I decided that my role is to deal with what they are telling me, not with “the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”  Their own self-awareness and ownership of responsibility, along with sharing the transformative power of the Gospel of Jesus, is what I work toward.

Speaking of the transformative power of the Gospel of Jesus (how is that for a segue?) and the basic truth it speaks, my mind goes this day to Romans 10.  “What does (Scripture) say?  ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is the word of faith we proclaim); because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.  For the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.’” (Romans 10.8-11) This is the simple, basic truth that has the power to transform our eternity … and thus also transform all of our days leading up to eternity.

At the very center of this basic truth is to “believe in your heart that God raised (Jesus) from the dead.  The resurrection of Jesus from the grave (Easter) is humankind’s sweet spot.  And, of course, there would be no resurrection without the things that lead up to it – like incarnation (Christmas) and death (Good Friday).  Connect this word with “By grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2.8-9) and we hear why the basic truth of the Gospel is so freeing.  As Mike Ziegler says in one of the God Connects videos (, “There are just two religions in the world – the doing it and the done it.  And in Jesus God has done it all for you.”

Talk about security … talk about freedom … talk about assurance … talk about confidence … talk about transformation.  They are all offered to us freely through that “word that is near you.”  And, like I said, “this basic truth has the power to transform our eternity … and thus also transform our days leading up to eternity.”

However, it seems as though the application to these “days leading up to eternity” is where many people shortchange themselves.  It helps to keep reading in Romans 10, for Paul goes on to say, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10.17) What (it seems to me) so many people fail to recognize is that the more we hear this “word (of Christ) that is near,” the more it empowers us to recognize, sense, and live in the security … and freedom … and assurance … the Gospel of Jesus offers.  It empowers us to live in confidence … to recognize our personal value … to forgive … to move forward from our regrets and disappointments … to love and care for all of creation. … This list of life transforming gifts is even longer than the truth-checking options I found!  And, I cannot say enough times, it is all offered to us freely in the basic truth of the Gospel (I think the reason we need to keep hearing this word is because this basic truth is so contrary to human reason and the message of the world that it does not so easily “sink into” us).

Perhaps you could do a little truth checking on your own today.  I suggest you start by reading Romans 10 and see where it takes you.  As you do, I will be praying one of my favorite ancient prayers of the church: “Blessed Lord, you have caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning.  Grant that we may so hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them that, by patience and comfort of your holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.”  Or, to put that prayer in my owns words, that through our consistent hearing of the basic truth of Gospel of Jesus we would be assured of our eternal security and thus live every day leading up to then experiencing and enjoying the gifts he freely gives us.

Basic Truth