On the Level #1. “Truth Untested.”

On the Level #1. “Truth Untested.”

For years I had a quality brand spirit Level in my toolbox. Why I kept it around is a mystery—it just didn’t work! Occasionally, I’d take another level and attempt to correct the “bubble,” but invariably it reverted to its “not-true” state. If I had such a one in my toolbox today, I’d throw it away and get one that worked.

Some have suggested that the expression, “On the level,” comes from Freemasonry, where the builder’s level was a symbol of integrity. Whether it came via the Freemasons or not, the expression most certainly has to do with someone or something being honest or true.

Like my spirit level, when something is askew, it must be tested. But also, like my spirit level, it is natural to presume that the level, in and of itself, is the standard.

Everyone believes that they are On the Level, and it is a rare human being who believes that their thoughts and actions need to be regularly tested. We are especially averse to any form of scrutiny when we feel we are the one who has been wronged. In fact, it is in that state that we pull out all the stops to prove that we are the victim; and to contradict that perspective is to be on the wrong side of truth.

Where there is conflict there are strong emotions. This usually facilitates a separating of people into camps, with the truth getting lost in the divide. Thus, Scripture lays aside all emotion to get to the truth when it says:

“The first to plead his case seems right,

Until another comes and examines him” (Proverbs 18:17).

As hard as it can be to get both sides of a story, we are obligated to do so.

Truth must be tested!

John Staiger


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