“I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except by me.” John 14:6
Every year Oxford Dictionary declares a word of the year. Words are debated and a winner is chosen based on what is “judged to reflect the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of that particular year and to have lasting potential as a word of cultural significance.” In 2016 the word chosen was “post-truth.” This word was defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”
Does absolute truth exist? Who or what determines what is true? Is truth subjective or objective? While the definition of truth has never changed, the perception of it has devolved significantly in the last few decades. What used to be viewed as absolute has become purely subjective.
We live in an age of moral relativism and many claim there is simply no truth. Several years ago Chuck Colson stated, “We are living in the first generation in human history which has said that there’s just no such thing as a truth claim.” The Christian faith provides a different answer.
Truth is that which corresponds with reality. Truth is not an opinion, a belief based on the majority, a feeling, what makes us feel good or only what can be understood or proven. Truth is universal and unchanging applying to all people at all times. Giordano Bruno, a 16th century Italian philosopher and priest wisely said, “Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by the majority.” In other words, truth does not change because it becomes unpopular.
Truth has many attractive counterfeits today. The world says we can make up our own truth and live however we want but we decide to be “led by our hearts”–a common buzz phrase in today’s culture–we are prone to emotional whims. Jer. 17:9 is sobering when it tells us, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” We cannot depend on our ever-changing emotions.
Truth is not passion, emotion or a good argument. It is found in knowing Christ and living according to God’s Word. The Bible is filled with promises that we can depend on. Because God never changes, His Word does not change even as our culture shifts more and more away from truth. God is our only objective source of truth. It has never been our job to define what it true. Our job is to believe the truth and respond rightly to it.
Jesus Himself claimed to be “the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6). In John 18:37 Jesus stood before Pilate and said, “I have come into the world–to bear witness to the truth.” We must understand truth is found in a Person: Jesus. He is truth incarnate–the absolute embodiment of all that is true.
The Holy Spirit promises to lead us into all truth (John 16:13). As we submit to His leading through repentance of sin and a humble desire to obey, He will show us the way to live that glorifies Him and produces peace and blessing in our lives. Truth can and will set us free when we let God determine what is true, not us.
Will you today acknowledge your need for truth only found in Jesus?
Will you turn from counterfeit truth the world offers?
Tammy’s story highlights how God’s truth changed her life and gave her peace. Praise God we can rest in the truth as we sing, “On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.”