Jesus said: “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). He did not say: “…and the truth shall make you obnoxious.”

Yet often that is how Christians in the public arena come across — as know-it-alls eager to make all others in their likeness. We need to handle “truth” with gentler hands and less arrogance.

Many of us received a Christian education that focused on “right belief” — along with the assurance that what we had was indeed the truth while those with differing perspectives were either misled or had intentionally rejected the truth.

So the arrogant attitude seen in many public Christians is the result of a logical course built on premises such as these:

We have the “truth” that others lack and need. We have a divine command to share this “truth” with all others. Those without this “truth” are misguided and endangered. Some think they have “truth” but, in reality, only our “truth” is real “truth.” Any “truth” that is different than our “truth” cannot have any element of “truth.” Therefore, we are uniquely blessed to have discovered and embraced the “truth” and must be diligent in bringing others to our understanding of “truth.”

But does it really lessen our understanding and embrace of “the truth that sets us free” if we handle it with gentleness and humility? Perhaps that is the best way to pass it on.

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