Denial is the first obstacle to solving a problem. Addicts will often say that it’s the first obstacle they need to overcome. They’re first confronted by their problem. They deny it. Oh no, I’ve got my drinking under control. They deny reality. But it’s not just addicts that do that. We often, when dealing with a personal problem, because it’s a difficult thing to face want to pretend that it doesn’t exist. We deny it. Denying reality is following a lie. It is the truth that sets us free. It may be hard to hear, but it is what sets us free.
There was some people that had been following Jesus and he had some hard things for them to learn. The truth that Jesus was teaching caused them to turn away from him. So to those people Jesus said In John chapter 8
“If you remain in my word, you are really my disciples. You will also know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”(John 8:31-32)
Jesus wants you to be free. But that means you have to accept some truths. The first truth is about yourself. That you have not lived the way that God wants you to live. You’ve sinned against him. You do it whenever you do something wrong. When you do not love your neighbor as yourself. Or you do not love God with your entire being.
You may want to deny that and say “well there’s really no God” or “that’s not really wrong.” Denial is the first barrier to solving the problem. We know deep down inside that we’ve all failed to be who was supposed to be. We hurt the people around us. We hurt the people closest to us. We failed to love them. We certainly fail to love God. So the first truth is that we’re sinful.
The second truth is about Jesus. That he is the Savior of sinners. God sent Jesus to rescue people just like you and me. People who have failed to be who they want to be. Failed to be who God wants them to be. He sent Jesus to take all of their failings onto himself and to suffer and die and payment for those sins so that God could love us and forgive us.
It is the truth that God loves you. He loves you so much that he sent Jesus to die for you. So you have those truths. The truth about yourself. And the truth about Jesus. Don’t deny the reality. Accept the truth and the truth will set you free. Amen.