We Christians have always believed that truth shall prevail, and rightly so. Truth shall prevail, and only truth shall prevail. However, often we fail to grasp the practical outworking of moral and philosophical truths.

While it is true that Truth shall prevail, and that ultimately only that which is true shall prevail, this does not automatically mean that things that are true and people that are truthful shall always be victorious in the short run. Not does it mean that the declaration of the truth will automatically cause people to fall upon each other to embrace it. If the crowd rises to fall upon each other, it would in all probability to kill the messenger of truth, and the other way round.

Witness the countless reformers, social activists, and visionaries who gave away all they had for bringing some good to the society, where they were only met with hostility, violence, and even murder. It is this kind of irrational behavior on the part of masses because of which I said that Truth does not always prevail in the short run — more so if you do not know how to present or advocate the truth.

The reason why truth does not always prevail in the short run is obvious to those who analyze history, but most of us never do that and the truth evades us. Truth does not always prevail because people need to act on truth if it is to prevail. They act only if they are convinced. Unfortunately, the process of mental conviction is not that straightforward. Nor do people are convinced of things based upon their truthfulness alone, else the world would have been free of superstitions.

The process of declaring the truth, making people see the truth, inducing them to be convinced, and motivating them to action is a long drawn-out human process that requires a clear understanding of how people can be influenced for change and action. It also requires a clear understanding of the subtle (and the not so subtle) forces that interplay to oppose and support this process. It also involves containing the forces that might abort the process of positive changes.

Only a great leader with insight and perception into this intricate “game” can make truth to win. Since most crusaders and leaders are novices at this game, they fail in spite of truth and in spite of their sincerity. They lay down their lives (and all that goes with it) but end up disappointed, if not failures.

If you have been called to lead, and if you have been called to reform, do not fall into the trap of believing that truth alone is that matters in a campaign. Take care of the subtle facts. If you are not good at that, then join someone else’s crusade to help him. If that is below your dignity, then do nothing and dignity shall remain with you.