Your Truth, My Truth, or God's Truth?
Truth is defined as fidelity to an established standard. So far so good, but this definition raises an important question: What is the established standard used to determine truth? If you begin with the wrong standard, the definition is invalid from the outset. This is precisely what has happened in today’s do-your-own-thing society. The world has begun to apply the wrong standard in determining what is true or false as well as what is right or wrong. It is not uncommon these days to hear people say, “That may be your truth, but it’s not mine” or “You have your truth and I have mine.”
People who say these things believe they are the final arbiters of truth. Defining truth is viewed as their personal prerogative, and the truth is viewed as something they can mold and shape to fit their personal agendas. Their established standard is a flexible notion based on whatever serves their purpose at any given time. Anything that validates their desires or supports their agenda is considered truth. Take this philosophy to its logical conclusion and you can see the obvious problem with it. If you can have your truth and I can have mine, there can be as many truths in the world as there are people. In such a scenario, it is never long before your truth conflicts with mine. When this happens, who is right if you can have your truth and I can have mine?
This obvious paradox is why it is important for Christians to understand that there can be only one established standard for determining the truth. There is such a standard. It is God’s Word: the Holy Bible. God’s Word is the truth in all situations and on all occasions. Consequently, to walk in truth is to walk in accordance with God’s Word. It does not matter if the Word of God advances one’s personal agenda, accords with one’s desires, or supports one’s point of view. The Bible is the truth and anything that runs counter to its teaching is false.
People who assume they can personally decide what is true or right are guilty of more than just arrogance; they are guilty of violating God’s First Commandment. They commit the sin of putting another god—themselves—before the true and living God of Scripture. They take on the role of God, assuming equality with him. This is more than just hubris; it’s blasphemy—an act of contempt for God.
In John 8:32, Jesus tells us that we will know the truth and the truth will set us free. A lot of Christians take this verse to mean the truth will set us free from the trials, tribulations, and anti-Christian bias of the world. At the same time, a lot of unbelievers take this verse to mean the truth—as they see it—will set them free from the restrictive rules of Christianity. Both are wrong. When Jesus said the truth will set us free, he meant that God’s Word will set us free from the destructive clutches of sin. He meant that the truth as explained in his Word would free us from the web of temptation spun by that most poisonous of spiders: Satan.
Walking in God’s truth can be a lonely endeavor at times. It is not uncommon for Christians to find themselves in situations where unbelievers are the majority. When you feel isolated and alone because of your beliefs, don’t despair. Instead, take the long view. Think about the message in Proverbs 11:3 where we are assured the treacherous will be destroyed by their own perfidy. Let your faith guide you no matter how vocal and persistent the opposition to God’s truth might be. Your walk with the Lord is a marathon not a sprint and there will be challenges along the way. But Proverbs 10:2 provides all the assurance you need to faithfully run the good race in truth, honesty, and integrity. This verse assures us righteousness will deliver us and that the wickedness of the dishonest will not profit them.
Dr. Goetsch is the author of Christian Women on the Job: Excelling at Work without Compromising Your Faith, Fidelis Books, an imprint of Post Hill Press and Christians on the Job: Winning at Work Without Compromising Your Faith, Salem Books, an imprint of Regnery Publishing, 2019: www.david-goetsch.com