THE NATURE OF TRUTH
If truth were to bend it would not be truth. The nature of truth means it cannot be manipulated. “Find/live your own truth” is a statement one hears which seems to mean one should live according to what is true to the individual person’s preference or belief system. Your own truth is a statement which seems incongruent with the steadfastness of truth. Yet we all understand its meaning. It is a subjective truth based on the individual’s personal belief or biases. In truth, true truth, is based on something that will always remain true—it will never change or fluctuate in its meaning. It is wrong to steal. That will always be true, an agreed upon principle for behavior even though people steal in little deceitful ways or in big obtuse ways. The truth will always be the truth regardless of whether it is believed or disbelieved, lived or disregarded. It is unable to change, to change would be to manipulate its character and function which would be at odds with its true state. Just not possible.
Truth is always true. Truth cannot be altered. It is either the truth or it is not the truth. There is no middle ground. If something is true and always will be true, it is incapable of being something it is not. In a society that has come to disbelieve in the validity of absolutes, especially moral absolutes, it is no longer easy to talk about truth. It has become a “dirty” little concept. Why is this? I could say why I think it is this way but that is not necessary. It is obvious. Truth represents a standard, an absolute, something unyielding. The natural parameters of truth in its purity, get in the way of its being fully embraced because of its lack of wiggle room. Truth, if it is lived, has limits that determine behavior. It may be easier to denounce or avoid what is true because then life can be lived without binding restraints.Truth is bound to God, and that is where it becomes sticky. God is the same, yesterday, today, and will be the same tomorrow. He never changes.
Truth stands alone. If it is an inconvenient truth, it may be hidden, buried, or disbelieved. There was one time when I stood alone because of truth, and my loyalty to its message. It happened in the workplace, at my place of employment. I felt I must stand up if I were to be true to my own self, my Christian beliefs, as truth found inherent in my spiritual life. So, in a sense, to others it may have been perceived as “my own truth,” and also that my colleagues were living out their “own truth” by standing up for their position. The conflict was not an issue of being truthful, of a right or wrong, but an understanding of perception and belief in regards to our employment benefits and work situation. I stood alone because of my spiritual beliefs in regards to the authority structure over me. It came down to this concept, I answer to God before I answer to man. To do this, I risked ostracizing by my colleagues and a loss of standing in their circles, when I chose to be true to my convictions. Was it scary for me? Yes, it was. My motto that year was, Do what is right even if you have to stand alone. I posted that saying on my wall. I don’t know if anyone ever noticed it, nor made the connection. No comment was ever expressed. Fortunately, I was not the recipient of a backlash and remained respected by my co-workers. In my way of understanding, I was binding my beliefs to my understanding of God’s truth. That is why I was willing to stand up for them.
Truth is often compromised because of human greed or to cover up wrong deeds. Those who stand for truth may pay dearly. Whistle blowers experience this, for them to speak the truth is a major difficulty and may even be deadly. They know a truth, an unpopular truth, that to expose will be of potential risk to them. I know someone who experienced this very scenario. In a management position with an agriculture company, he uncovered some inside corruption. He went to the top, the owners, with the information. It cost him; he lost his job within a month after speaking up. The truth was quickly silenced. However, that didn’t make it any less the truth. He did that company a favor whether or not they wished to take action on the documented findings.
Spiritually speaking, truth is what binds the Bible together cover to cover.
Christ said some astonishing words that few, if any, could comprehend at the time. “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except by me.” He was claiming to be the one and only truth, The Truth, not just as a way to point toward the finding of truth. Christ’s sacrificial life backed up his words. His words were not empty promises with false hope nor were they rash words. Jesus’ death and resurrection validated his earlier claims, proving the Messenger’s message as true, a truth for in that day and still apropos for our present day, a truth that will live on into future centuries.
Another argument for the awareness of the nature of truth is found in our conscience. Embedded deep within our thinking is a sense of right and wrong. Even a young child displays an awareness of this. Toddlers will hide when they sneak candy. How do they know it is wrong? No one had to tell them. Fair treatment is action everyone understands and expects. “Just” treatment that is in the same category, both related to a sense of what is true, right, appropriate societal behavior. People cry “foul” when there is a coverup or lack of equality in some way that affects their person, community, or nation. “Speak the whole truth and nothing but the truth,” are not fanciful or empty words. When testifying in court, the unvarnished truth contains the facts as they were at the time, not as the person wishes they had been, nor can the facts be manipulated through embellishment or minimization of details. They are specific words connected to a code of behavior. Truth-telling has its basis in true facts, in truth. Truth cannot be shaken or destroyed. Nothing but the truth is resolute. It will always be resolute.
Truth can not be shaken or destroyed. It remains and endures.
Jesus Christ made no apology. His very life was a defending of truth. He was a rock in the sifting sands of time and public opinion. To this day, we can measure truth by actualizing the life of Christ. The Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5, 6, and 7 is truth we would be well advised to heed that it might go well with us, and that we may live with the spirit of Christ in our being. Framed in Christ’s words is how truth should be lived, contrary to the natural way of living out life.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when other revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:3-12) ESV
Truth, would not be truth if manipulated by changing days and societal mores. The things which Christ said are most important are rarely on people’s agendas or to-do lists even in Christ-following communities (churches). That doesn’t make them any less true. We see a few saints who qualify for the “Blessed are” groupings listed above, people who grasp Christ’s intention, his meaning and understanding of truth, a truth lived out in God’s way. These people are true “truth” bearers. It is as if God’s truth flows into them and then flows out of their spirit. It is of a different quality than the world around them. Truth has a reality within it. Many people believe that truth is relative. If it is relative, then it could not possibly be truth. The two are in contradiction with one another. Truth is truth …
A rose is a rose …