WHAT DOES TRUTH MEAN AND HOW IMPORTANT IS IT?
I am now touching on a subject that is both difficult and simple. Dear God, please help me. Do I believe that there are absolute truths? Yes, I do believe that. Do I believe that I hold all the truths? No, I seriously do not believe that, but I am seeking the truth and hate lies. When my children were small, they couldn’t do anything worse to me than lying. That created emotional reactions in me. I can forgive a lot when people are open and honest with me, but if they lie, I get a problem. I do understand that fear might be behind a lot of lying. People are afraid of being punished or condemned and that is one of the reasons for lying. I have a tendency to look at lying as a weakness. I respect people who are open about their failures and mistakes. I can see through a lot of masks and when I understand that masks are only covering other things, I find it difficult to have a deep relationship to that person. I do not mean that a person should tell me everything, but do not lie. I have been to countries where lying is almost normal and people lie automatically. When I have confronted people there, they look strangely at me. They do not think it is wrong. I have talked to several Christians in these countries and too many of them defend lying and corruption. I do not believe in white lies. I detest any kind of lying.
Since I do not think that I am the only one knowing the truth, how do I know what is true and what is not? This is a good question. I will start by saying where I find the best answers; in the Word of God. That is the highest authority in my life. If I hear something that is against the Word, I discard it. The Bible is the Truth. One big problem is that there are many things in the Bible that I do not understand and there are many different interpretations of the Word. I also think that certain scriptures are wrongly translated. The thing that is very helpful is The Holy Spirit and I also have the gift of discernment. I was recently in a situation not knowing what was the truth and what was the opinion of another. I was asked to listen to an American teacher and preacher. I got a small warning in my spirit when a person asked me to do so, but I wanted to listen. He said many things that were new to me, but he referred all the time to the Word of God. I really wondered if I had a wrong belief about this particular subject all my life. I prayed and I thought I heard the Lord saying: “I have seen your heart. You are seeking the truth and you will know.” The next day I read all the chapters and verses that were referred to the previous day. I saw then that some of the things said were right, but new to me, but many conclusions were not right. I got total peace and knew what was right and what was wrong. I do not want to expose the preacher and will not explain what it was all about. Some things in the Bible are more difficult to understand than others and this theme belonged to the more difficult ones. In Cor.13:12 it says that we see in parts. It is not biblical when people say that they understand the Bible fully. I smell pride then. I know of preachers being very sure of their interpretations of the Bible. The strange thing is that they had an opposite interpretation some years later. They actually went from one extreme to the other. This is quite confusing and I choose to do as they did in Berea. We read in Acts 17:11 that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find the truth. I think we should learn from them. They were not skeptical, but truth-seeking. Some teaching might be repeated so many times that one believes it without reading for oneself. I have experienced that in a church I went to. One of several other things was that they said that tithing was described in both the new and in the old Testament. I am a cheerful giver and I believe in giving, but it isn’t mentioned in the new covenant. A lot of the teaching was good and I am thankful for what I received. We must be careful since we are not supposed to throw out the child with the “bathing water”.
We have had a lot of discussions about Catholicism and Protestantism where I live during the last years. I read both the Bible and the Catholic theses in order to find out the differences. I discovered then that many central theses didn’t correlate with the Bible. They were added much later. For me the Bible is enough. I actually just read a book with the title: The Word of God is enough. You and I have to decide if we want to have that as our guide.
Jesus says in John 14:6 that He is the way, the truth and the life and He says that no one comes to the Father except through Him. Jesus doesn’t only speak the truth, but He is the truth. He is the only one able to say that. The rest of us have sin and lies in our lives. We read in chapter 8 in John that the truth will set us free and when the Son makes us free, we are free indeed. It says that sin is binding us, but we do not need to be slaves under sin. I remember a sermon I had about the truth. I had brought some chains with me and I was binding them around a young boy in order to demonstrate how we look when we lie. The devil is called the father of lies so we must not trust him. The devil doesn’t want us to live in freedom so he is lying, twisting the truth and makes us lying both consciously and subconsciously. We can just open a newspaper or listen to the news. We can read and listen to news from the entire world, but the news is represented differently. It depends on the person, on religion, politics, culture and personal views. We cannot swallow everything we hear, but we must choose our source of information. I have often listened to news about Israel, saying how they have attacked the civilians, even children, but they do not say that Israel had been attacked by hundreds of missiles or killing of Israelis. By keeping silent one might actually lie.
We cannot lie to God. He knows our heart. He knows if we seek the truth or if we have hidden motives. None of us knows everything or have the complete picture. We might even be wrong, but the Lord knows if we wish to speak the truth. I have several times said things to others that I have heard as rumors. That is not right. It might even be gossip. I have repented from these kind of things. You might have heard the story about a feather becoming five hens as the story was told from one to another. We must be careful.
I asked how important it was with the truth. Sometimes it can be a question between life or death. When the Bible says that no one comes to the Father but through Jesus, it is terrible when spiritual leaders say something differently. The Bible says that we are saved by grace, but the Catholics say we get saved through good deeds and seven sacraments. The devil is binding millions of people by lying to them. The truth is very important in court cases. We know of times when people have been punished unjustly. There are countries where they have death penalty and you might die for something you haven’t done. To speak the truth will take a great courage in some cases and many Christians have been killed for it. Should we cheat on the taxes? Should we risk losing a friend? Should we abstain from certain information when we apply for a job?
We have a daily choice if we should speak the truth or not.
CHOOSE THE TRUTH!