We have been in the middle of an election year in the United States and the buzz of press is full of half-truths and partial-lies, or so it seems to me. This prompts me to ask the question why do we believe what we want to believe as human beings instead of searching for the real truth. Of course there are times when what we read in newspapers, online, or see on television and news sites stories that make us wonder if we are hearing the truth and it is difficult to ascertain the truth because we may not be hearing full truth. I think that there has never been a time in history when people were so connected and seeking the truth. We want to know and we want to know quickly. The problem is, however, that being connected brings us a lot of untruth and wading through the muck is time-consuming and gives me a headache!
There is a second problem with seeking truth that I have encountered; some seem to believe that there is more than one truth. When I was a child I told a lie to my Mom and she caught me in my lie. I knew it was a lie and she did too because the truth was obvious and not difficult to discover. Today, however, it seems to me that with all the marketing lies and the campaign lies and the political agenda lies truth has been shoved aside in an attempt to sell us something we don’t want or need, to make us like one candidate better than another, and to see that wrong is really right and right is old-fashioned and outdated. Or it seems to me. I have even had some people tell me that they don’t like my brand of truth. Hmmm! Isn’t there truth and nothing but the truth, you know one truth and only one basis for something being true? I know this may sound old-fashioned especially in this day of blaming someone else for your problems but still, the truth is not a pick-and-choose situation. So what is truth?
The quality or state of being true, (https://www.google.com/search?q=definition+of+truth&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8).
Okay, so what does true mean? The definition of “true” is:
- In accordance with fact or reality, 2. Accurate or exact, (https://www.google.com/search?q=definition+of+true&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8).
Maybe I am finally uncovering the problem today, if truth involves fact and reality then no wonder people make up their own truth because many people live in their own reality based upon their self-serving lifestyle rather than based upon fact. As an example of people living in their own reality let me tell you about the drive to pick my son up from school.
The school has a policy and procedure that is really easy to follow. If your child is in 6th grade you are to park your vehicle in two lanes in front of the door they are coming out. When one car leaves, the line of vehicles is to move forward so that all children can be picked up. Sounds easy, but do people follow the policy? No! The first one in line won’t park where the line begins; they park at least one and sometimes two car lengths behind where they are supposed to be. Then there are those who refuse to pull up, why they don’t move up is a big mystery to me! This causes the line to be longer than necessary and sometimes someone will get impatient and drive around the stubborn people who won’t budge, which causes unnecessary risks of a car wreck. To be honest with you I just don’t get it! Are they enjoying making other people suffer? Do they think they are saving gas by not starting their car and moving up as they should? Are they anti-social or what? And of course, someone else will see their child and decide to block traffic from going out the exit because they stop in the driving lane and honk their horn to get the attention of their child who was probably ignoring them in the first place, and won’t move until their child finally ends their conversation with a friend and gets into their parents car! I don’t appreciate their brand of reality! And that is what I see as the problem with finding truth in our culture, everyone is so engrossed in their own reality that they can’t or won’t tolerate others. So where do we go to find real truth, the truth, and nothing but the truth? I go to the Bible.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1-14, (New International Version or NIV).
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32, (NIV).
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” John 14:6-7, (NIV).
John knew the truth and wrote about it in the Gospel of John. John believed completely that Jesus knew the truth as well. I believe that if a person believes that God exists and that Jesus is God’s Son born of a virgin, died on a cross at Golgotha, rose again to bring victory over death to all people then you will be filled with the truth, the real truth, and nothing but the truth. However if you do not believe that God exists or that Jesus is God’s Son, then you are not seeing truth but your own bubble of reality and the Bible backs me up on this.
Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12, (NIV).
Now to me this is a frightening passage of scripture because if we are not looking for the truth, if we do not love to hear the truth, if we are not seeking the truth or finding the truth, then God allows us to live in our own reality and believe our own lies. I don’t know about you but I certainly know a few people living in their own little world and twisted reality. The father of lies is happy to keep them away from real truth too. So what is truth? The truth that I am speaking of is the basis of all things true, all things pure, and all things honest…Jesus Christ is the truth, and what He did for us is the truth we are to love and to seek. When we do, then we will be living our lives based upon real truth and not an alternate reality. Praise God! I will leave you with one final thought.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9, (NIV).