How Should We View and Relate To Truth?
March 10, 2023Empowering Influence, Light of Life
Perceptions of truth are generally tied to a group of facts or assumptions we believe to be true. Is truth a belief system or ideology we can ascribe to and adopt as our own? Does truth adjust as our perceptions change? Is there an absolute truth we can seek to know and follow?
We often react to new ideas, different thoughts, and revelatory insight with: “that’s not true,” “it can’t be” or “I don’t believe that.” So let’s dive in and explore how we should view and relate to truth.
Scripture says: “You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (a) [see endnotes for Scriptures] How clearly we know truth depends largely on our viewpoint and where we are in life. Let’s consider four conditions that affect our ability to see and participate in God’s view of truth for us as “a city on a hill:” (b)
- Situation: As we face a city in the distance, it is in front of us. If we turn to the left or right, the city is not as noticeable. Our posture and circumstance affects our ability to see.
- Clarity: Foggy conditions and obstacles can restrict our view. As distractions are removed, clarity can come and our approach toward truth’s reality can improve.
- Closeness: As we view the city from afar, its reality is faint. The closer we get to the city and comprehend its vastness; our perception of its truth enlarges.
- Involvement: Entering the city and observing its function vastly improves perception. As we appreciate its complexity and participate in its reality, we can thrive and prosper in its truth.
How well we view the truth of God’s reign in our lives and participate in its reality as a functioning city depends on our situation, clarity, closeness, and involvement. When we actively participate in the City of God that exists today our perception of Kingdom life tends to improve and is enriched.
Jesus identified God’s Kingdom reign as His function in the midst of our interactions. “Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.” (c) Jesus answered the ‘when’ with ‘now’ and switched the issue to: God’s reign ‘is’ visible now, today.
Jesus also said: “Where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” (d) God’s abiding influence is observed and seen in our interactions. His reign is more than in me or you; it is “in our midst, with us, and among us.” The function of multitudes with God consciousness is identified as God’s Kingdom and a City with its good, not so good, and bad interactions.
God’s abiding influence is observed and seen in our interactions.
How fully we come to “know the truth” can happen in three stages.
- We may comprehend as I guess so.
- We can understand as I see, yet not get involved.
- And, we can be convinced, adjust our thoughts and words so our actions give witness to its reality and are a part of its shining radiance.
As a child we tend to accept what we are told, assuming why not while in adolescence we reason and question, asking why in order to understand. Our level of growing maturity affects our ability to see and understand more clearly. Too often, as adults we solidify perceptions and cease to grow.
Different circumstances can complicate everyone’s ability to perceive and see with the clarity we may comprehend. Much like children cannot see and understand as adults, or adults as parents, or parents like grandparents, few can see with the same clarity as others.
We are encouraged to put away our early comprehension and enlarge our thinking and reasoning. (e) “When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.” (f)
While we are not able to fully know, experience or see as God sees during this life, (g) we can “see in part” (h) and experience aspects of “eternal life.” (i) As we grow and mature, our perceptions and visual displays of truth enlarge but remain ‘in part’ while we are in this natural world.
Our level of growing maturity affects our ability to see and understand more clearly.
The Light of Life
We want to receive the fresh light God is providing for our day. If we see and commit to the truth God ‘is’ revealing, we can become more mature expressions of His character, attitude, and personality. If we are not seeking, we tend to stagnate and can appear to be asleep, (j) even living as dead people. (k)
God said “For I the Lord, do not change.” (l) While God is infallible and changeless, as offspring and children that are growing and maturing, we must be changing! Our ability to see and relate to truth should always be adjusting and improving.
The clearer we see and experience God’s view of truth, we actually transform into more mature children of God. As we receive the additional insight God is sharing today, our attitudes and actions will reflect less and less like an overly childish self-centeredness (I’m right – you are wrong).
Our active fellowship with God and each other should always be inspiring and enrichening. Each enlightening perception we receive has an effect on our attitude and the quality of our words and actions. Why stick with the past experiences and early perceptions that may not apply to your life today?
God’s guiding presence is always near, not far from anyone. (m) Jesus said: “The Spirit of truth…will guide you into all the truth.” (n) God’s Spirit of truth seeks to guide us into all the truth we are willing to accept.
Our active fellowship with God and members of the body of God-in-Christ enables the Light of God to illuminate us. The more we absorb “the light of life” (o) as God’s influencing reign in our day, the more we keep growing and developing. As we see and understand more appropriately, our reflection of truth allows others to see more clearly. (p)
While yesterday was good, today can exceed and tomorrow can be even greater. Is the light we see getting brighter?
The clearer we see and experience God’s view of truth, we actually transform into more mature children of God.
a) John 8:32; b) Matthew 5:14-16; c) Luke 17:20-21; d) Matthew 18:20; e) Galatians 4:1-2; Ephesians 4:15-16; f) 1 Corinthians 13:11; g) 1 Corinthians 2:9; h) 1 Corinthians 13:9, 12; i) John 17:3; 12:50; 1 John 5:11; j) Matthew 13:25; k) Matthew 8:22; Luke 9:60; l) Malachi 3:6; m) Acts 17:27; n) John 16:13; o) John 1:4; 8:12; Psalms 36:9; Matthew 5:14-16; p) Matthew 5:16; 1 Peter 2:12
Keith Carroll, “The Relationship Guy”
Relational Gospel Founder
Created To Relate author