Saturday, November 22, 2008

What is Truth?

I love to read! I read for pleasure. I read to learn. Usually I have more than one book going at the same time. Recently my husband and I listened to a fascinating "book CD" while we were traveling. It's an exciting novel with intrigue, terrorists, plots and counter plots and more - The Bourne Betrayal.

One line struck me particularly as applicable in other contexts. Two of the Arab terrorists are talking about truth. One says to the other, "There is no truth in the desert. In the desert the sands shift constantly like the truth. ... The law of the desert demands it!"

What a compelling metaphor of life in 2008! Truth has been diluted and disregarded until the lines between truth and lie are so blurred that even "high-powered magnification" makes it difficult to distinguish between them. Truth is no longer considered absolute in most circles - even by some in the church. Truth is thought to shift like desert sands blowing with the winds of whim or personal preference.

What compels me about the statement the terrorist made is WHERE such "truth" exists - IN THE DESERT! We have come to a desert in many ways in our society. Truth is thought to be relative so that what is truth for me may not be truth for you. Truth is considered adjustable and constantly changing.

No wonder we live so badly most of the time! No wonder we love others so badly! We have no standard for a code or to measure where we are on the continuum of values. We have been taught overtly and covertly by media, education and society that our truth, values and ethics are fluid and situational. Few people understand that there is "TRUE TRUTH" (as Dr. Francis Schaeffer used to describe real truth).

In the desert places of life, shifting sand is no place to anchor. Truth that is real and true exists everywhere and anywhere we are. God has given us standards by which to evaluate and process truth in the words of Scripture. We don't get God's truth by osmosis, however. We MUST read it. We must contemplate it. God's truth must sink deeply into our hearts and minds. God's truth must change how we think and act.

Jesus told a story about two men who each built a house. One built his house on shifting sand. The other built his house on the rock. When the storms of life came, Jesus said the house on the sand "went smash"! Jesus said the house on the rock stood firm!

Storms come in life. God's truth, God's love and grace and grounding on the Rock (Jesus Himself) are the ways we can stand even in the storms of life as well as the sunshine! And that is true truth!

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