Posts Tagged ‘truth’

the first page from the First Epistle of John

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Truth, especially Biblical truth, is worth thinking about.

Skip Moen in his blog today, Incorrect Theology, gives many of us food for thought.

“The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”

1 John 2:4


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Image by 2create via Flickr

Sight is a funny thing, and what all of us think of when the topic is mentioned can vary. Yet,  on first glance, we all would probably go to our physical sight first. Especially those of us who wear glasses, or contacts, to whom people look like walking trees if we don’t have anything to help us see. But, there are so many different types of sight beyond the physical, there’s emotional sight, spiritual sight and more, the list can go on and on.

We focus on the physical because by and large, that’s where most of us live. Yet, it’s the emotional and spiritual sight where we can get the most blinded, the most deceived about what is true and real, and what is not.

For those of us who have some sort of help with our physical sight, we know how easy it is for us to see something that’s not true or real if we don’t have our glasses on. I mean really, if people look like walking trees without your glasses on, just about anyone can walk into your home, and, you wouldn’t even know they were a stranger until you got up close to them. Of course, you have your other senses to rely on, but if you just relied on your sight you’d be in trouble.

And, that’s for those of us who are near-sighted. Those who are far-sighted and need reading glasses have the opposite problem. If they don’t have their glasses on, they could think they’ve read something only to find out the words they thought were there, or that looked like they were there, weren’t there at all, which could be problematic to say the least.

When we have a problem with physical sight, we can get physical help that corrects the problems of sight and the perceptions that that issue can cause. But, what about when we have problems seeing emotionally or spiritually?

So many of us see our lives through a faulty mindset, or emotional place, that really skews what is real and true and causes us to believe lies about those very things.

How many times have you met a beautiful woman, or man, who thinks she, or he, is ugly? Or, a really intelligent man, or woman for that matter, who believe they have a less than average intelligence? Or, someone with an immense talent who thinks that it’s worth nothing? I could go on. I can’t tell you how many men and women I’ve met who believe blatant lies about themselves, because there are just too many. The thing that really strikes me though, is no matter how many times they are told the truth, they refuse to absorb it because they are unable to see it.

These things get set so early on in our lives, and to truly shake them is pretty much impossible without the help of God.

I know that there are some that would probably take me to task for such a statement, and tell me that they have shaken their insecurities without the help of an unseen God. They would say they that because of their own work on themselves, they are ‘healthy’ and ‘well’. I would reply that that too is a deception, a lack of seeing clearly. Because when your world turns upside down, and you are not clinging to the One who is truth and reality, then all those deceptions and insecurities come roaring back with a vengeance, probably far worse than they were before because they didn’t actually go away, they only went into hiding for a while.

One of the realities and truths that is so hard for our independent, ‘I can do it all’ natures to grasp, is that when our sight starts to go physically, or is gone spiritually or emotionally, there’s absolutely nothing we can really do about it without help from someone else.

We go get glasses or contacts or lasik surgery to help our physical eyes, but even these band aids cannot permanently fix the problem that is actually occurring with our eyes themselves.

And, even though we are open to getting help from someone else for out physical sight, for far too many of us we are not so pragmatic about the lies we believe, the spiritual and emotional blindness we carry around with us. We would rather try to help ourselves, instead of going to the only One who can truly cure our fuzzy, darkened vision. It’s kind of like if we chose to make our own glasses out of the bottom of glass bottles and wore them around believing that we could see clearly with them on.

Each of us probably has a million reasons for not wanting to go to Him and be cured, but the reality is every moment that we delay is one more moment of unnecessary blindness that we choose to live in as we walk around with our paltry homemade attempt at seeing truth, and fooling no one but ourselves.

“A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner. He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!””

John 9:24-25


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Gallery of the Tapestries

Image by Storm Crypt via Flickr

Truth, we all have a slightly different version of it, don’t we? The old adage, ‘there are two sides to every story, yours and mine,’ is very true, but, I always think there are three sides to every story, yours, mine and God’s.

My son, along with others like him who really do live in a black and white world, has a highly developed sense of truth, which really comes out when he feels that an injustice has been done. He is emphatic in his arguments about the truth of what has happened in a given situation, and what should be done about it. But, if facts change, then he must change his view of the truth of the matter and what can or should be done. This is just what he did when he was young and wanted to blow up the Funyun factory only to discover later that he actually enjoyed the little oniony treats.

I, on the other hand, live in a world full of the multiple shades of gray. This includes looking at everything through the glasses of at least six different possibilities with every situation at hand, making justice a somewhat fuzzy anomaly for me to grasp. After all, how can justice be served when  there are so many variables to the actual situation itself? This way of looking at things also has the disadvantage of seeing the many roads to man’s  ‘truth’ that one can take.

Truth can be difficult to grasp especially in this world where most people want to believe that just because our truths don’t match up, doesn’t make any of them less true. Most often this comes in the form of, you believe what you want to and I’ll believe what I want to, and it will all be okay.

The problem is that it won’t be okay.

We live on the sufferance of God, He provides the oxygen for us to breathe everyday that we exist on this beautiful round ball He gave us to live on. And, if you don’t somehow comprehend that and connect with that, it just won’t be okay. Because there will come a time when He just won’t provide that anymore for those who don’t have a relationship with Him.

Truth is truth, and there can only be one actual version of it. This has little to do with the observation of the observer and more to do with actuality of reality than anything else.

Enter God, the I Am who is the totality of truth even if we don’t actually acknowledge that. The reality is that truth does survive, He has thread Himself throughout the entire time-line of  human history in such a way as to be undeniably there, even if many would like to ignore that to pursue their own version of truth.

The reality is that God, I Am, has played a part in human existence since He created our troublesome race and instead of scraping us all because we are schizophrenic in our view of truth and want to claim that our truth is reality, He instead chose to stick with us and provide a loving escape clause for us to actually know truth through His own sacrifice made for us.

Truth, there’s your version, my version and God’s version. The problem is that we hear each others version’s and either don’t bother or don’t want to listen to God’s version, but if you unplug yourself from the epitome of truth, then how do you know what reality is?

“Into your hand I commend my spirit. You redeem me, Yahweh, God of truth.”

Psalm 31:5

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It’s funny what people say, what we hear and what we think they mean, isn’t it?

Just the other day I was talking with a teacher friend of mine who was telling me about the discussion she had with her elementary school level class about genetics. The conversation turned to the intricacies of the human genome, the tiny machines that run our inner world and the fact that everything has a genetic code contained in its chromosomes. And, not only that, but not everything has the same number of chromosomes.

Did you know that human beings typically have 46 chromosomes while a goldfish has from 100 to 104? I didn’t know that about the goldfish, and neither did  one of the girls in my friends class who raised her hand and asked the question of the day.

“Do you mean the goldfish you eat?” she asked.

My friend had the same thought when the question was asked that I had when she told me the story,  the ultra-surprised reaction of  ‘she eats goldfish? Do people actually eat goldfish?’ I mean who eats goldfish except people who are trying to win a bet or something?

Then my friend told me the realization hit her that her student was talking about the little goldfish crackers you buy from the store and eat.

So, this got me thinking about what we hear, what we think it means and how we react to it. My friend and I thought the exact same thing when we heard that her student ate goldfish, we thought live goldfish ‘raw and wriggling’ as Gollum from the Lord of the Rings fame would say, but her student actually meant crackers.

Now, if this was something besides what it was, harmless, that miscommunication could take on a life of its own and turn into something that it wasn’t, which is what we do sometimes isn’t it? We make an assumption based on what we hear and instead of clarifying what the person actually means, we just go with what we think it means which could get us in a lot of trouble.

And, we could apply that to every area of our life, including scripture or what we think God is saying to us or what we think He may be saying to someone else. Instead of just stepping back, keeping our mouths shut and asking God to clarify things, we just go with it, sometimes making a hash of things in the process.

Because let’s face it, what we hear, what’s actually being said and how we should react are sometimes very different things, and at the end of the day only God can sort them out for us.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.”

Proverbs 3:5

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