What Color is Your Truth?
Buy truth, and do not sell it; and as a bonus get wisdom, instruction, and understanding.
Why does truth even matter? We throw the word around as if it is important, but rarely even consider the futility of the search. Yet, if we do not desire truth, above all things, we are guaranteed that this futility will follow us to the grave. The desire for truth is the clue that truth exists and can be known, as seen in Part 1.
Three things come to mind in consideration of truth:
1. Truth does not exist,
a. in which case we are all free to do as we please,
b. and the rich and powerful decide what “truth” is,
c. and “might” becomes right, or “truth.”
d. and, we die frustrated.
2. Truth does exist,
a. but it cannot be known, which makes it little different from #1 above,
b. or, an inner desire persuades us that, somehow, it is obtainable.
3. Truth does exist,
a. but, is knowable only to Christians through revelation.
b. The world cannot know the truth, for sure, of any particular thing.
Since the Garden of Eden truth and error have become all mixed up in a Devil’s brew of reason and knowledge. Man, in his unaided state cannot decipher truth from error, but in his heart he knows it exist, and demands truth in others, but is continually frustrated in his desire for truth.
In our last installment we looked at whether or not truth exists, using simple reason and logic, and concluded that it did, but that it is hard to discover, and that at the core of our being is a relentless desire for truth. And we also saw that, “all of our present and future hope is based on knowing something for certain." "Are you comfortable pursuing a future built on the shifting sands of variety and theories, chaos and confusion, rumors and innuendoes, or a million shades of gray? Me either, I have to know the truth, regardless of the cost . . . .”
If our life depends on the truth, and we are convinced that it exists, then a good question to ask is, “where do I get truth?” and “how will I recognize it?”
There are many paradoxes in the Bible, and this is one of them. Truth is a gift, but it will cost you everything, and you must exercise a sober craving for its source.
To establish the fact of just how rare truth is, use your imagination. Imagine the world is a fish bowl, filled with all kinds of diamonds, but all of them fake, except one. One genuine, and very costly gem, mixed in with all the rest, and you are free to choose any one you like. Not being a gemologist it would be impossible for you to know which one is real, and which fake; which is the true costly stone, and which the cheap forgery.
You would not be surprised to find that some “seekers” had selected a stone for its sparkle, and others because of size, and others because the stones appeared exotic or mysterious. You would also not be shocked, that when told they had chosen a phony, some respond with anger, indignation, and unbelief, or come across as an expert with an ability to spot an imitation. And, still others, not at all interested in the truth, would be content just knowing that they have something very close, and that it satisfies their particular need quite nicely. Besides, their choice matches their taste and wardrobe, and permits for frequent staring. All of these, unable to make a distinction, settle for a mere semblance of the truth.
A select few, being of a more honest sort, would be perplexed, and would agonize over their inability to know which of the stones held the secret of untold riches. “There are so many to choose from?” “How can I know for sure, which one is the truth?” “I’m incompetent to make such an important decision.” “I would rather have nothing than to settle for a lie.”
In the world of precious stones there is no way to tell the true value of the gem, unless you are a gemologist, or have access to inside information. The world of diamonds becomes a world of illusions, shadows, opinions, confusion, and enigmas, which vex and perplex. The Master Jeweler, One having knowledge, a Revealer of secrets, at His discretion, may instruct you to not look at the outward appearance, that a very costly diamond in-the-rough may appear worthless to the untrained eye. He may also give you additional criteria for identifying truth. Real diamonds have certain characteristics which simple tests can unveil, like the breath test, the hardness test, or the baptism test.
But, if you chose to proceed in your own wisdom to discover truth, you will, without doubt, end up deluded and cheated, with a fraud on our hand.
What would you give for the answer? What would you give for the most precious of precious gems that this world has ever known? Would the price be too high if it cost you everything? When there is only one of something, its price can be immeasurable.
The answer to our question, “where do we find truth?” is contained in the answer of how we discover the precious diamond. We must get inside knowledge of what to do, and what to look for. Someone with the “key” must unlock the allegory, and make the abstract understandable.
The whole world and the religious world included, look in all the wrong places for truth, and find only a philosophy, or a religion, full of sparkle and mystery, pretenders and hypocrites. They have considered their alternatives, and were enticed by what they saw, drawn away by size, bewitched by charm, and instead of the Truth, settled for a lie.
The Bible is a book of riddles for most, coded and encrypted, better left to the trained scholar, and seasoned seminarian. But, to a few, it is the answer to “where to find truth.”
Jesus is that precious Gem, the Diamond of Great Price. Jesus decodes the text by using simple language and giving inside information, somewhere a scholar wouldn’t look, hidden in plain sight. Jesus is that Diamond-in-the-rough. He took the form of a man, laying aside His Divinity and Throne. When Messiah, who the Jews fervently awaited, showed up on the scene, they never recognized Him, and scorned that Precious Gem, and slew the King of Glory.
The darkness that has settled over the hearts of men hides the simplicity of the answer. The fingerprints of Jesus compass the entire Old and New Testaments with the uncomplicated message of, “come unto Me and I will give you rest.” He answers the riddle throughout the Bible, with words that repeat the following:
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." John 4:23-24
“If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, then he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.” John 7:17
“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you abide in my word (do what He says), you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” John 8:31,32
“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear (understand God’s words), I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.” John5:30
“Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word.” John 8:43
“He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.” Psalms 25:9
“Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand.” Daniel 12:10
These are but a very, very, small sampling of the answers to the riddle of knowing truth.
It starts with an unrelenting desire for truth, followed by obedience to the dictates of Jesus.
“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him.” John 14:15
Do you desire real purpose? Not the artificial purpose of men, but the purpose of a prince, of one born into the family of a Great King; as one gone out into the world to do his Fathers will, and to return home to jubilant reward.
The purposes of this religious world have nothing to do with truth. The purpose driven life of this world is built on the truth of this world, on a thousand shades of gray, and the shifting sands of men’s brilliant ideas, and on a truth that will leave you disillusioned and lost. The purposes and truth of this world are forgeries, even when they come from a pulpit.
“For the LORD God is our light (truth) and protector. He gives us grace and glory. No good thing will the LORD withhold from those who do what is right.” (Psalms 84:11).
Jesus is the Gem. His value was miscalculated, because He came “in-the-rough,” as a man. Although He represented His Father perfectly, men could just not get past His appearance. Men’s perception of truth is wholly different; they looked for the glitter and sparkle, an outward manifestation of Divine glory, and all He had to offer was the uncut truth. Today when we look for truth it is no different. A philosophic or religious exposition is so much more palatable than the simple words of Jesus:
"Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."
We have seen in Part 1 of this series is that there is such a thing as truth. In Part 2 we are discovering where to find that truth.
In Part 3 of What Color Is Your Truth? we will deal with “lies.” Since we are living in the world, and the world is blinded to the truth, what should we expect to find? We are confronted with a great many lies on a daily bases, of which we take to be the truth. We accept, for the most part, everything that is presented to us with sincerity. If we feel that a person is likable, or a business honest, or an advertisement sincere, we will, without reservation believe and trust them. On the other hand, if we dislike a person, because of the way they look or talk, or a business appears shady, or an advertisement cheap, we will not trust them. We are creatures of perception, not truth. In most instances, the perception of truth is, well, truth, regardless of the facts.
“It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.” Mark Twain
This quote by Mark Twain, especially the last part, illustrates what kinds of problems we can expect to find in this world, and with ourselves. A big question, we will try to answer is, if lies have governed the world for about six thousand years, how intricate might we expect the web of deceit to be? Many people are very sure of things “that just ain’t so,” and for good reason; Satan is the deceiver of the whole world.
“Now the snake was the most cunning animal that the Lord God had made. The snake asked the woman, "Did God really tell you not to eat fruit from any tree in the garden?" "We may eat the fruit of any tree in the garden," the woman answered, "except the tree in the middle of it. God told us not to eat the fruit of that tree or even touch it; if we do, we will die." The snake replied, "That's not true; you will not die. God said that because he knows that when you eat it, you will be like God and know what is good and what is bad." The woman saw how beautiful the tree was and how good its fruit would be to eat, and she thought how wonderful it would be to become wise. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, and he also ate it. As soon as they had eaten it, they were given understanding and realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and covered themselves. That evening they heard the Lord God walking in the garden, and they hid from him among the trees. But the Lord God called out to the man, "Where are you?" He answered, "I heard you in the garden; I was afraid and hid from you, because I was naked." "Who told you that you were naked?" God asked. "Did you eat the fruit that I told you not to eat?" The man answered, "The woman you put here with me gave me the fruit, and I ate it." The Lord God asked the woman, "Why did you do this?" She replied, "The snake tricked me into eating it." Gen 3:1-13.
Buy truth, and do not sell it; and as a bonus get wisdom, instruction, and understanding.