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  • Writer's pictureRachel

Your Truth, My Truth, And Anything But The Truth (So Help Us, God!)

Updated: May 26

"Are you telling the truth?" I asked my young son.


The pitch of his voice rose with every plea. "I didn't do it! I didn't do it!" he repeated as he stood before his jury of mother and siblings.


The problem was, he did do it.


I knew it, his siblings knew it, and he most definitely knew it. We had been witnesses, after all.


I felt bad for the kid. No one likes receiving consequences for their actions. If we could simply convince the other of our innocence, we could avoid both censure and penalty.


If we could simply change the pastor better yet, the way the present is perceivedwouldn't that just be, well, convenient?

a small pebble on the sand shore next to waves
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Truthiness


Let's pretend its 2005 again. You're wearing your skinny jeans and are emotionally invested in "American Idol". You can't go grocery shopping without reading the name "Brangelina" on magazine shelves or watch a movie without seeing Vince Vaughan's face.


One night, you’re watching late night television and within a quippy comedic segment, a word is invented for a concept that will shortly find a comfortable home in the North American milieu. This concept will be adopted by individuals and co-opted en masse, spreading far, fast—for better or for worse. Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Report just coined the word “Truthiness.”


Truthiness is understood to be “a seemingly truthful quality that is claimed for something not because of supporting facts or evidence but because of a feeling that it is true or a desire for it to be true." (Merriam-webster.com)


In other words, to accept a concept as truth based solely upon desire or feeling.


You hear the studio audience laugh as you shake your head in wonder, thinking, “What type of silly person would live their life like that?


No one seems to be laughing anymore.


A Battle of Wills


What seemed outrageous in 2005 is real life in 2024. The general populace struggles to agree on what constitutes truth, let alone the source that will lead us there. In our current culture, truth is a very sticky subject. Our education system teaches relativism; that is, that concepts such as truth or morality only exist as defined by their cultural context. To the relativist, truth is in fluxan ever moving target.


The public consensus is that we all have our own truth. Follow your heart! Speak your truth! The problem here is that it makes truth subjective to each individual. Your truth and my truth can surely differ. If truth gets to be invented, then each person will use it to their greatest personal advantage.


Now imagine if I took the above scenario with my child and accepted my son’s testimony despite what I directly saw. How do you think his sister would respond? She certainly would have something to say in her defense! But then I'd have to shrug and say to her, “That might be your truth but it does not cancel out his truth.” I would have two very confused kids because I have done nothing to restore justice or order. They can’t both be right. They are not both presenting what is real. One is real and the other is their desire of what they want to be real.


So some opt to yell or bully in hopes to assert their will and claim justification, as if the loudest voice wins. And in the moment, it might seem like they do.


What's happening today is that we are believing our own lies, then claiming abuse when our invented reality is not accepted by everyone. We alter the terms, invent an alternative reality, then insist others live by our imagined present.


Believing in something isn't what makes it true, even if we feel like it should be. Our feelings are informed by a plethora of factors, most of which have very little to do with reality. Just as sociologist Charles Cooley famously observed: "I am not what I think I am, and I am not what you think I am. I am what I think you think I am." Perception does not actually alter reality, only our response to it.


Truth is not what I want to be true. And truth is not what you want to be true. Speaking your truth can be speaking honestly and boldly of your experiences, but it still needs to be accurate to the foundation of truth itself.


Consider the Source


The truth of the matter behind truth is that no one wants to be told what to do. Indeed, it is a battle of the wills, yet not of red against blue, but Creator verses creation. We invent reality in order to deny God's authority.


Yet as a parent, I've crafted my children's world to keep them from harm, to help them flourish, to promote their deepest happiness, and to prepare them for the future. The foundation of my terms is love. If a flawed parent like myself has formed boundaries for my children for their good, how much better are the barriers and provisions of an omniscient Heavenly Father for the world he created out of nothing but the power of his word (see Genesis 1)?


Humans will take anything but the whole truth, as long as we get to be the architect of our own destinies. Yet even that is an illusion. We are no more in control of our future than the pebble on the ocean's shore. It is powerless against the ebbs and flows of such an immensely powerful force as the ocean. The pebble may want to be a seagull or wish to be a boulder, but neither the wanting or the wishing will change its nature. The tides will determine its journey.


We are neither pebble nor seagull, but a beloved people crafted in the image of an intensely generous and loving God (see Genesis 1:26). We have been imprinted on purpose, for a purpose, with a moral compass and an innate sense of justice because we have been fashioned after God himself. His is the morality, His is the justice, within us. We do not know murder is wrong just because the government tells us so. We know it, deep down within ourselves. (The choices we make, however, are another issue entirely.)


All Other Ground is Sinking Sand


Many times, God has been referred to as a Rock (2 Samuel 22:47, Psalm 18:2, Psalm 89:26, etc.). A rock is sturdy. A rock can be a refuge for rest or a shelter from harm. A rock is solid and will not move. You can trust your footing on a solid, sturdy, strong foundation built of rock. It will not let you fall or shift under your feet. It is trustworthy. This is what Truth offers usa reliable, steady and consistent place to plant our feet, our homes, our whole lives. God has revealed what is True through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus (John 14:6), the living words of the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16), and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit (John 16:13).


A life not informed by truth is lacking. The foundation is shaky. It is full of holes and pitfalls. It is shifting right under your feet! It is unbound by reason and untethered from reality. It is a fiction. A changing truthor a truthinesscannot be called Truth.


And if it's not "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth", then it can be only one other thing: a lie.


Truth has a source. It is found in the One who formed it, imprinted it, then revealed it.



Want to continue the discussion? Here are some resources to check out:


The gospel of John in the Bible (seriously, go read it.)



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2 Comments


KINGLY
KINGLY
May 25

Beautifully said sister! This relativistic society is truly standing on sinking sand or I should say have already sunk into the sinking sand! The only thing that can bring us out of this sinking sand is still the truth and we know who the truth is! Jesus said, "I am the truth the way and the life", apart from him we are"living" a lie!


Ninous

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Rachel
Rachel
May 27
Replying to

Thanks for reading, Ninous! I miss our talks, friend. Grateful for the truth that sets us free.

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