I read an article last week entitled “2016: The Year Truth was Irrelevant” by Avery Foley. Immediately my mind jumped on a thought I had after watching the Snowden movie. With no intention of arguing his method of revealing top secret information, but to say here’s a guy who risked everything, and when I say everything I mean everything, to reveal to the world a truth that the government had been and still is collecting troves of data on us with or without our consent, that the ideas of privacy and cybersecurity were just comforting words to tuck us in at night. He pulled the curtain back to reveal something that should’ve shocked us awake. He gave up his liberty, his career, his future and quite possibly still, his life to reveal a life-altering, history-making truth and our collective response was: “Meh….” Wow!
As I went on to read the previously mentioned article by Avery Foley, (answersingenesis.org) I learned that the Oxford Dictionary chose the word post-truth as it’s word of the year. Post, as in no longer relevant, belonging to a bygone period… not post as in after, such as postwar. Anyone who casually followed the political race leading up to the presidential elections this last year (2016) witnessed just how irrelevant truth was to the process. We also have been indoctrinated with the idea that you can ‘hold’ your truth and I will ‘hold’ my truth, promising if we just each hold our truth and let others do the same there will be peace on earth. This is absurd on so many levels because truth is an absolute. If something is not absolutely true, then it is not true. However, if we tweak that thought just a little, we do come up with something useful. Notice now, if we were to ‘share’ our perspective and allow others to also ‘share’ their perspective, we could achieve greater understanding of each other, leading to more productive discourse.
“Now we see but a dim reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
Truth is to be approached in the same way we approach God; not as something we can command or ever completely grasp this side of eternity. 1 Corinthians 13:12 says it better than I can: “Now we see but a dim reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” As we seek truth and seek to integrate truth through our humanness what comes out of us is not all truth, but something called honesty. Honesty is our interpretation of truth. And that interpretation is fed by many, many biases and experiences. To deny this is to deny we are human. We can honestly believe something that is not true. We can honestly be mistaken. And, we can honestly be absolutely right. But we can’t ‘hold’ all truth any more than we can ‘hold’ all the universe. Here’s why: Truth contains all perspectives simultaneously in complete congruence. In my mind, that describes God, not me. We can pursue truth and it will be revealed to us, but there is always a cost. To learn what is true we must lose what is false. This rubs our humanity wrong. Human nature clearly displays that we will consistently choose to believe what serves our needs the best, not what is true. Being human is in many ways to be a walking contradiction. We are full of variance, and shadow and motive. What we are not naturally full of is Truth.
“Still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.” ~ Paul Simon, The Boxer
So, let’s get honest! Honestly in pursuit of truth. We are as honest as our egos allow us to be. To unravel our egos and to pursue truth is a worthy endeavor. God loves to reveal His truth to us. If we do our part, as author CJ Mahaney describes in his book Humility: True Greatness, and seek to put to death our greatest enemy (pride) by lifting up our greatest friend (humility), we will create an internal climate open to truth. This can reap tremendous rewards for us because it can open us up to troves of truth that do not need to come to our ear by a gentle revelation in the solitude of our minds (though I love those ones!), but can come to us even by the harsh observations of a friend. Jesus came that we might have life and life abundant. Abundant truth!
Friend, one day, we will all answer for what we have chosen to believe. What we have chosen to believe about God the Father, His son Jesus and the Holy Spirit. We will answer for what we believe of ourselves and of each other. On that day, I hope I can look back on my life and see I have chosen to pursue the truth relentlessly and with humility. How about you?