One of the foundation documents of the United States of America contains the words, ”We hold these truths to be self evident….” The phrase goes on to list the truths, not to define truth. It is evident that to the founders of our country, the concept of truth needs no definition. In the same way, witnesses in legal proceedings are asked to promise, “to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth….” Here again, truth and what it is are assumed to be understood. The emphasis in both these instances is to act in accord with the truth.
Much of our education is focused on teaching truth. In most cases family values are formed around and taught on the basis of truth. Thinking back on your childhood, what are some of the first truths you remember learning? Who did you first hear these truths from, and what impact do you remember them having on your life? As certainly as we learn truths, there are instances in life where we have truths challenged.
These challenges may come from friends and acquaintances. They may come from trusted leaders who have influence in our lives. Hearing challenges to truth and figuring out how we will respond is a part of the maturing and growing process for each of us. An important part of becoming an adult is settling on the truths we embrace as an adult as we use these to form the basis for our relationships in life.
The number of people claiming to speak truth today is only exceeded by the number of outlets they have. From sources like traditional media to all the current forms of social media, not a day goes by without someone declaring something to be truth. The problem is there are so many “truths” being declared, it can be very confusing to listen to the many seemingly conflicting proclamations of truth and to make sense of what is truth and what is not.
In the past, we have often looked to history to evaluate truth as something which has stood the test of time. With the revisionist mentality so prevalent today, it can be easy to discount all historical interpretation and rely only on what seems to fit with a present day understanding of both history and truth. This approach can lead to uncertainty and confusion about what is truth. Like all approaches, this one has its limitations.
As we move forward, it is important to remember that while truth is not always comfortable, it is always truth. How do you determine what is truth in the midst of so many conflicting ideas? One way is to look to the guidance of those you know and trust. Find someone who seems to you to be living in truth, and study what that person does. Truth is consistent, and it produces positive outcomes.
As we move forward, may we never waiver in our determination to seek after and to live out the truth in everything we do. The more experience we have in living out truth, the easier it becomes to stay on course. As we move forward, join me in making that the ultimate aim of life.If you would like to receive new As We Move Forward posts, please subscribe to the As We Move Forward mailing list by clicking here. I release entries on a bi-weekly basis.
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