Film Friday: The Good Lie

A group of Sudanese youngsters flee their homes when their village is destroyed in the second Sudanese civil war, years later they find their way to America. Once there they must adjust to a very different kind of life. They sign up with an employment agency and begin education courses.

Jesus told others that he was the way the truth and the life. He also mentioned that we could know the truth and it would set us free. Yet truth is something we all battle with in life. There are many occasions when it’s much more appropriate to adjust the truth for the sake of our relationships. ‘Does this outfit look good on me?’ ‘Did you enjoy that meal?’ We are often cautious about replies to such questions as we don’t want to end up wearing ‘that meal’. Personally I find it hard to tell the truth at times in church, when I feel I should be a proper, sorted out Christina, rather than the jumbled mess I feel on most Sunday mornings. ‘That service was good, wasn’t it?’ I’m asked and like a nodding dog I do the business and smile and er… well… nod. It’s the best way, even though I might feel frustrated by the morning’s events. I thank God that the Bible is loaded with truth and honesty, and so many of its writers pour their frustration, regret, doubts and anger into their writings. Jeremiah writes a visceral account in Lamentations about feeling like he has been ambushed by God in a bear’s guise. Life has gone wrong for him and his people and it seems as if God has dropped them in it. Yet his brutal honesty also gives him room to remind himself that in spite of his battered state, God continues to provide many good things for him. (Lamentations 3 vv 10-24) He is honest enough to pray about life’s paradoxes, not cover them up.

When it comes to ‘good lies’ we might think about the many brave people in various times of conflict who have hidden vulnerable people in their attics or cellars, and when the authorities come looking, they have quickly denied any knowledge of the hunted folks’ whereabouts. For a Biblical account of this see Joshua 2 vv 1-5. Rahab went down in history as a hero of the faith for her courage in that situation. ‘It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute did not die with all the others in her city who refused to obey God. For she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.’ Hebrew 11 v 31.

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