We are living in challenging times when truth is being attacked, distorted, and stated to be relative. However, as followers of Jesus, we are told He is the Truth and the Holy Spirit is our guide into all truth. These verses can be found in John 14:6 when Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” and in John 16:13, “But when he, the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”
When I read these two verses, I am encouraged to study and understand the Bible so that I can rightly apply and integrate the truth into all aspects of my life. Early in my Christian walk, I was challenged to develop a personal mission statement. I am thankful for the influence of friends and mentors who helped me to establish a foundation of truth based on the Bible and integrate this into all aspects of my life. My personal mission statement is, “To integrate God’s Word into all aspects of my life bringing honor and glory to Jesus Christ.” I cannot say I have walked this out perfectly, but the pursuit of truth has been a core value in my Christian walk.
The Pursuit of Truth
Many times, we can passionately pursue what we think is truth only to find out we were wrong, and we missed the truth. I am reminded of a reformer that encountered this scenario and had to change the course he was on. Saul, who was later referred to as Paul, was a well-educated Jew and passionate about the Jewish law. When the followers of Jesus were growing in number, Saul got permission to pursue them, place them in prison and in some cases have them stoned for blasphemy against the law. The story of Stephen (Acts 6-7) was an example of a disciple of Jesus that was killed for his beliefs and was stoned in the presence of Saul.
Saul had all the right credentials and was pursuing what he thought was truth as he describes in Philippians 3:4-6, ” If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee, as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.” However, when he came face to face with the Truth, Jesus Christ himself and the course of his life changed.
Like Saul, when we have allowed wrong perspectives or thinking to enter our minds, we must be open to turn from the wrong and pursue the truth. I find in my life as I desire to be driven by truth and not ideology, the Holy Spirit brings knowledge or other people into my life that open my eyes to the truth so I can make the right course correction. However, many times I find my wrong thinking has been based on lies that I presumed to be truth.
The Corruption of Truth
When I think of the corruption of truth and the consequences, I think about the original lies found in Genesis 3:1-5, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die. “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” This lie, like so many others, are a slight twist of the truth with an attractive appeal, but devastating consequences.
Next, we see the appeal to Eve found in Genesis 3:6, “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” The appeal to our flesh is a means by which truth becomes corrupted. The Apostle John tells us in 1 John 2:16, “For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.”
We can be the recipient of lies or provider of lies, but in either case we should know the source of lies. John 8:42-44 states, “Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” Whether we hurt others through our lies, or we are hurt through the lies of others, Jesus shows us the power of forgiveness when we are wronged or wrong others.
The Power of Forgiveness
It is easy when we have been wronged or perceive improprieties against others to develop a prejudice in our hearts. However, Jesus is our perfect example of the power of forgiveness. He was innocent and lived a blameless life in service to others and was brutally crucified through false accusations. He was able to look at them while on the cross suffering and say, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Let us follow the example set by Jesus and pursue truth, meet others where they are, and exercise the power of forgiveness. We appreciate being on this journey with you and pray you are blessed and encouraged by our blogs and the podcast we host each week, ChristianBusinessValues.com. Please share these free resources with others in your circle of influence.
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Jamie Jordan is the State Director for the South Carolina Christian Chamber of Commerce (SC-C3). His passion is to see unity and excellence exhibited within the Christian community. Jamie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.