We live in a time where widespread agreement and consensus seems impossible for any issue or topic of debate. To say that we’re merely divided by politics and religion is an over-simplification of the landscape.
Not only are there a multitude of philosophical differences, but, in most dialogue we cannot even agree on the facts.
How can you discuss the solutions to a problem with a person who says the problem doesn’t exist?
How can you develop understanding with a person who thinks they already have a full understanding?
There’s also the obstacle of disagreeing on the way we disagree. Halfway through an exchange of ideas a person will be offended by the way a perspective is presented. Instead of resolving the original issue at hand, the conversation goes sideways over how “who” said “what.”
Taking all these factors and trends into consideration, its no wonder the ability to communicate is at an all-time low.
For me personally, I feel there is a lack of understanding when it comes to truth. In all of my communication, establishing truth is my first goal. Once there can be an agreement on what the truth is, options and decisions can be filtered through in a productive and healthy fashion.
The problem is, most of the time, truth can rarely be established between opposing views, let alone potential courses of action.
Do we recognize the sound of truth still? Have we lost familiarity with how truth works? Have we added our own personal feelings into what we wish to be true?
It’s time to be re-introduced to truth. The following is 12 Truths About Truth:
1. Truth stretches us and pushes us out of our comfort zone.
Truth doesn’t coddle all of our preconceived ideas. Truth doesn’t begin where we are at personally. Truth isn’t concerned with revealing an error in our way of thinking. Truth demands a painful commitment to learning with a disregard for personal complacency.
Why is this? I’m glad you asked because it brings me to the second truth about truth…
2.Truth doesn’t come naturally to us.
Human beings are naturally selfish, especially Americans (America is the most individualistic society on the planet). This means we will gravitate to an interpretation that reinforces our own feelings and convenience. Our opinion may work for us as an individual, but it isn’t necessarily practical for everyone else. Many disagreements are two selfish people fighting over their own comfort.
This is why truth needs to make a comeback in this generation. Truth is an unbiased 3rd party who doesn’t play favorites. Truth doesn’t have a dog in the fight. Truth is objective, pure and innocent.
Truth makes us uncomfortable with ourselves because our instincts are still looking out for #1.
3. Truth is unpopular.
If truth isn’t selfish (and most of us are selfish), then truth will not be a popular commodity. People will fight truth so they don’t lose the comfort of their ways. People are already more broken and hurting than they will openly admit; the last thing they want is somebody questioning the current basis for their survival. This creates the unpopular tension of truth.
This is why an opinion poll doesn’t always reveal the truth on a matter. This is why a bunch of people being upset doesn’t disqualify a truthful position on a topic.
Many times, a person speaking for truth is labeled a troublemaker, even though the truth is, they’re just unpopular because they’re speaking truth.
4. Truth requires courage to deliver.
It isn’t hard to agree with the majority. It’s actually pretty easy to follow the crowd. Even a dead fish can swim downstream. It takes resolve though, to go against the current. It takes backbone to stand for truth when it’s not popular. You must have a conviction deeper than your own political affiliations and social needs, to deliver truth.
A haunting verse in Revelation 21:8 states that the “cowardly” shall have their part in the lake of fire.
5. Truth transforms.
Jesus said in John 8:32, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” This little gem is incredibly empowering. It tells me that my decision-making and behavior can be transformed as truth renews my mind. It lifts me up above some proposed genetic predisposition. It inspires me to be greater than a Darwinian philosophy that reduces my potential down to some carnal instincts.
This is why the times we’re living in are so unfortunate. Truth can change a person’s life and yet most people run from any message that challenges a comfort zone or creates a stir.
Even leaders today are scared to speak out on hot topic issues. Political correctness takes precedence over truth. This is a sad path that many have taken. Sidestepping truth eliminates the opportunity for a person to be transformed. As long as “truth shortcuts” are taken, people will be cheated out of true freedom.
6.Truth often hurts before truth heals.
When I was in elementary school I got in a rough bicycle accident in the deserts of Las Vegas. I somehow got moving abnormally fast and hit a dirt mound, giving me a ton of air. It was fun until I crash landed. A deep piece of flesh was left hanging off of my knee. The open wound had also been dragged through several feet of desert sand, rock and dirt.
I ended up with 22 stitches. Not a big deal, but before the doctor could stitch me up or even administer any pain relieving shots, a nurse had to scrub the gash in my leg with a harsh brush and anti-bacterial soap. I’ll never forget the pain. There was so much debris mixed with blood that it required 5-10 minutes (which seemed like an eternity) of coarse cleaning.
Was it worth it? Duh. The wound had to be cleansed before it could be healed. I’m so thankful the nurse didn’t skip the painful cleansing of my wound to avoid my intense resistance and reaction.
As I said before, most people are so over-loaded with their own pain that they don’t have any margin in their soul for being questioned on their lifestyle and perspective.
While I empathize with a person’s struggle for survival, truth is, they might not have to struggle so much in the future if they can increase the presence of truth in their life.
7. Truth is love.
1 Corinthians 13 is the love chapter of the Bible. It’s been read at almost every wedding I’ve been a part of. 1 Corinthians 13:6 says, “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” Although it hurt to have my raw flesh scrubbed with a harsh brush, it was a charitable act.
Truth is why I became a minster. Truth brought me freedom from discouragement, depression and rejection. Even though it was painful to hear at times, in the end, truth gave me healing and wholeness. It laid the foundation for a wonderful marriage and family. Truth continues to make me uncomfortable to this day, but truth has loved me every step of the way. I became a minister because my heart was filled with a divine love to see truth cleanse, heal and transform hearts.
The Bible instructs us to “SPEAK the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15); it doesn’t say to “leave out the truth in love.”
8. Truth increases responsibility.
If truth has the power to transform than I am accountable for my choices once I hear truth. This is another reason why truth makes people uncomfortable.
Truth doesn’t allow me to be a permanent victim. Truth doesn’t leave me as a hopeless slave to my feelings and habits. Truth empowers me to use my free will to determine my destiny. Truth removes excuses for any foolish behavior I may act out. Truth humbles me when I can’t seem to make the right decision and truth guides me back to the straight and narrow path.
9. Truth is relevant to all at all-times.
Truth is not inconsistent. Truth is an anchor that keeps me steady no matter what storm I’m in. Truth does not change for a given situation or person. If it did, it would cease to be true.
To create a maxim such as “there is no such thing as absolute truth” is a contradiction in terms. For that statement to be true it would have to be an “absolute truth,” which is the very concept it denounced.
Truth doesn’t alter its stance for positions, titles, desires or feelings. Truth is a rock in the midst of a culture of shifting sand.
10. Truth is light.
Truth exposes darkness and breaks through foggy gray areas. The enemy of our soul has legal right to traffic in darkness, deceit and areas of our life we try to hide. When it comes to the light though, our enemy runs from truth like a patio cockroach runs from a switched-on porch light. He doesn’t like it.
This is why I want to remain in the truth. Living in the light of truth is a combination of the presence of good company and the absence of bad company.
11. Truth isn’t tolerant.
Truth cannot endorse opposing views. Truth cannot coddle everyone’s feelings. It’s impossible for truth to be tolerant of all opinions and remain true. As previously mentioned, truth is an objective, unbiased 3rd party with no ulterior motive.
This doesn’t mean we can’t live peaceably and respectfully with people who have a different perspective. It just means that it’s not a crime to truthfully state a disagreement with a person.
Thoughtful discussion will never happen as long as people run from discomfort, hurt feelings, unpopular topics and controversy. These dynamics are inherent by-products of real truth.
12. Truth is a person.
Truth is not a list of rules and regulations. Truth is a being, who is offering relationship, comfort and strength.
Pontius Pilate asked Jesus Christ, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews… (John 18:37-38).
Pilate asked the question, “What is truth?”, with a rhetorical tone and got no answer from Jesus.
The problem wasn’t his tone though; the problem was Pilate’s question.
Pilate asked, “What is truth?”
Pilate should have asked, “Who is truth?”
In John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” Jesus didn’t just claim to be the Messiah, He said that He was Truth Himself. In fact, I encourage you to read this article again but replace the word truth with Jesus.
It makes sense that the most influential person in human history is the Truth.
The question is, “Are you being influenced by Truth?”
“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free…Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” – Jesus Christ, John 8:32-36, NKJV.
Image Courtesy of Stuart Miles on FreeDigitalPhotos.net