When Truth Conceals
A good story paints a word picture.
The idea, one hopes, is to reveal an accurate image. Too often, that’s not what happens.
Story tellers frequently become pick-n-choosers. They cherry-pick cool-sounding snippets, often out of context. These tiny pieces don’t do much to help listeners see the real picture.
Happens a lot with scripture when people weaponize Jesus’ words. Pick-n-choosers grab “gotcha” verses to support their particular cause or narrative, even when it flies in the face of Jesus’ message. They tell a small, inaccurate piece of the story while obscuring the big picture.
It’s tempting to pick-n-choose inspiring quotes to make ourselves feel (or look) good without doing the hard work of engaging with injustice when we encounter it. But the inspiring quotes aren’t the whole picture.
Standing for justice is a risky, radical proposition. The men we celebrate and quote didn’t advocate easy, or comfortable, or play-it-safe. They modeled sacrifice and servant leadership, walked their talk, accepted the abuse while peacefully refusing to retaliate.
The men we quote paid dearly in their quest for peace and justice. The very least we owe them is an accurate, non-distorted picture of their message.