Tell the truth

Posted by Jeff Iorg on with 2 Comments

Telling the truth seems to be more of a challenge for leaders these days. Media spin masters have taught all of us how to shape the truth to communicate our preferred message. It’s easy to criticize others, but frankly, almost every leader – including me – shades the facts to communicate a perspective we want remembered instead of laying out the plain truth.

One national commentator was recently criticizeMicrophoned and then defended her position by claiming “my truth” is as factual and substantial as any truth. That aptly summarizes what so many people believe today – truth is the facts as they see them. Another problem is taking one fact and extrapolating or synthesizing a conspiracy-like set of conclusions. Politicians in both parties have mastered this practice. Truth is also a casualty when facts are invented, shared through social media, and then get picked up and shared as the truth. Sadly, even formerly trusted news sources now regularly make this mistake.

What can be done? It’s simple – we have to tell the truth. We have to use facts wisely and communicate what they really mean, not want we want them to mean. We cannot allow spin masters and message massagers to influence how we communicate. Christian leaders must set the pace on this issue – speaking truth to each other, about each other, about issues in the public square, and about the churches and organizations we lead.

Political leaders, media personalities, corporate executives, and entertainers all have public relations specialists who manage their messaging. Rather than admire their cunning, let’s countermand those practice with counter-cultural communication. Let’s model transparency, honesty, and diplomacy in the face of cultural duplicity. Let’s double-down on truth telling, and in doing so, demonstrate integrity and community in contrast to the vitriol and partisanship all around us.

Comments

to leave comment

Michael Tanigawa Mar 20, 2017 11:39am

Dr. Iorg:

A hearty amen to this post.

The unfortunate truth is that many individuals in leadership positions feel that their "truth" is correct even after checking on it or they don't do any research because they positively believe in what they think or don't want to waste their time. In my 45 years of employment (in military service and the civilian and federal government sectors) I have witnessed leaders who had to "eat crow" when just a little research would have saved them from this phrase : "Open mouth, insert foot." My Family and I continue to pray that the Lord will use President Trump to "make America Great Again" and remedy many long standing negative situations / problems that have plagued our nation / citizens. Amen to you for your leadership at Gateway Seminary.

Christopher Crossan Mar 20, 2017 6:30pm

Those are well-written thoughts, Dr. Iorg, and desperately needed today. I have become so disappointed in our news media, and long for the day when people will value the truth above their own political party.