We live in a sinful world where deception abounds and truth is a rarity. Lies, innuendoes, exaggerations and errors of all kinds flourish in every land.
Indeed corruption, falsehood and greed are at the hearts of almost every enterprise. Even more, human society is also being inundated with new ideas on how to live, how to dress, how to behave and even how to think. Religious, political and economic ‘breakthroughs’ are on the increase; but no sooner has one new idea been tried and discredited when an even more spectacular claim is made for another.
Believe it or not, an age-old question is being asked today? At the trial of Jesus, Christ was questioned by the Roman governor Pontius Pilate who was no stranger to deception. He had grave doubts that anyone could speak the truth, so he too asked the question: “What is Truth?” (John 18:38). According to the dictionary, truth is something that is ‘in accordance with the facts, something genuine, correct and accurate, something that lives up to its claims.’
Do we find truth in our society? Not much, you will agree. But back to our question. What is truth? Truth is different from beliefs and hope. Absolute truth is not dependent upon public opinion or popularity. Polls cannot sway it. Not even the inexhaustible authority of celebrity endorsement can change it.
So how can we find truth? Truth can only be found in Jesus Christ, who says, “I am the way, the Truth and the Life.” It is very important that we build our character around the truth. As we all know, it is difficult enough to sort out the truth from our own experience. Jesus said, “You shall know the Truth and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32). Jesus is the foundation of truth and he Himself is the truth that makes us free. He is the source of truth, the perfect standard of what is right. He frees us from the consequences of sin, self-deception and from deception of Satan. In a world of error, deception and confusion, it is reassuring to find such positive and true statements.
Jesus is the embodiment of truth, the living truth. Truth is vital to human society. Its absence causes mistrust which often leads to hatred and even to war. The absence of truth is the main cause of humanity’s sin and resulting woes. The presence of truth uplifts. The absence of truth degrades. The Bible puts is thus: Proverbs 14:34 “Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”
Error corrupts and enslaves. Truth brings freedom – freedom from fear, freedom from hate. Truth replaces fear with faith and confidence. People who hold and live the truth are not afraid of privation, persecution or even death. They have the truth about life and death, the present and the hereafter, and fear has no hold on them.
Truth opens people’s eyes to the corruption and utter worthlessness of Satan’s lifestyle. Truth brings God’s law into focus. Truth, for all its
value, is not popular. Multiplied millions of people reject truth simply because they love sin, even though they know it’s wrong. Truth is as powerful over falsehood as light is over darkness. Nothing can destroy truth. Sinners may hate truth, reject truth and fight it with all their might, but truth is unaffected, it cannot be destroyed. Truth is invincible. Truth can penetrate even the darkest recesses of the human mind. Truth is eternal; as eternal as God Himself. Truth is the best insurance policy an individual or community can invest in. Good character is built on truth. Truth can make us uncomfortable at times, and it can sometimes be bitter, because it is the truth.
Denying the truth doesn’t change the truth. Truth is unchangeable. Instead of hearing the truthing and believing in it, many people run away from it and build their character on falsehood. Truthfulness seems so rare that we feel we must end our statement with “I promise.”
If we tell the truth all the time, we will have less pressure to back up our words with an oath or promise. Some people do not understand God’s truth because they are not ready for it. God reveals truth to people who will act on it, who will make it evident in their lives. We must speak and live by God’s truth regardless of the consequences.