Thursday, May 2, 2013

What Is Truth?

By Nicole Tlapek
The year is 30 A.D.
Jesus, the son of a living, almighty God, has just been betrayed in the garden of Gethsemane. The Savior of the world has just been betrayed with a kiss. He has stood before the High Priest, the righteous of the age, and has been mocked and whipped. He has been rejected and denounced by his closest friends. He has been ridiculed and turned over for dead by the ones he healed, clothed, and fed. He now stands before a Roman authority, Pilate, who holds the power to crucify him.

"Pilate therefore said to Him, "Are You a king then?" Jesus answered, "You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice." Pilate said to Him, "What is truth?" (John 18)

What is truth? I hear Pilate's discouraging tone as he washes his hands of the matter. Though this was years ago, the world we live in today begs the same question. The world we live in today tells us to create our own truth, to have many truths. It demands that we recognize two conflicting truths to be equally true despite the truth.

What has happened? When did all fact become interpretation and all truth become relative? More importantly, as Christians, when did we become okay with this?

When you became a Christian--whenever that moment was for you--you asked God to forgive you of your sins, to wash you clean, and fill you with his sweet redemption, that you may grow more and more into His likeness. We recognize these things are true when we become a Christian, why? Because, whether we knew it consciously or not, we had just made a switch in the way we see life. We decided to base our truth in the Bible, the Word of the very same God who we just trusted for salvation.

If then, I trust God’s Word for my salvation, should I then trust everything else He says in His Word? The answer is a resounding yes. How on earth could we trust a book for information on the salvation of our soul, only to say, "Yeah, I’m not quite sure about the rest of it, though". To some, this seems silly. To others this is the means to living a comfortable life.

However, both cannot be right, both cannot be true. Let me ask this--if we are accepting God’s words to provide our salvation and countless other promises of hope and redemption, who are we to decide what is true in his Word and what is not?

No friends. We don’t get to decide that part. It is our part to decide to follow the truth and to apply the truth as a foundation--the absolute truth for our lives.

I married my husband, Jake, three years ago. It is true. I did marry him. It works out pretty nice because I get all this unconditional love and support. He provides for me. Every once in awhile I spend some time with him, and we get along just fine. I mean he loves me enough to even let me stay out late without him. I mean, he doesn’t like when I come home wasted, but he loves me so we're good. Most times I just keep him at home because I find our marriage too constraining. If I bring him out with me, that means I’m not going to be able to get any others guys to take me home...you understand. I’m married; I just don’t like marriage...so when I’m not in the house, I’ve just decided that I’m not married.

If I were to sit down on your living room couch and tell you all of that, you would look at me like I was crazy. I would be crazy! Wouldn’t anyone be crazy for creating their own reality apart from what was really true? Many Christians today are doing this very same thing, and we have been okay with it for far too long.

It is impossible to be married and then choose what parts of your life you are going to let that affect. It is impossible to believe the words of God and then choose what parts of your life you are going to let them affect. Of course people do choose; that's why there is divorce, infidelity, etc. They are trying to live two truths at once, and it is impossible because you cannot create your own reality outside of the truth. We do not get to pick and choose when married--despite our actions. We do not get to pick and choose as a Christian when His words are true--despite our actions.

As a Christian, taking God’s Word as truth, I am told daily that I am intolerant because I do not hold what others say and believe to be true. I am told that I "can’t be a Christian because Jesus loved everyone, even the sinners". Yes, Jesus does love everyone, even to His death on a cross (John 3:16). But every time Jesus encountered someone whose life was a wreck, they walked away changed because the truth had set them free.

In the passage above, as Christ stood before Pilate in John 18 He says, "For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth." THIS was the reason He came--to bear witness to the truth. If this is the whole reason Jesus came, shouldn’t we care about it an awful lot? If this was the reason Jesus came, shouldn’t we place a higher level of importance on it than we have been doing? If this is the reason Jesus came, this is a big deal. The truth must exist.

So, whose truth are you going to accept? Are you going to create one for yourself by picking and choosing what parts of God’s Word you like and dislike? Or are you going to read and ask God to reveal his truth to you in his Word?

The choice is entirely up to you. It’s a challenge, it’s the hard path, it doesn’t always make others happy, it can cause plenty of persecution, and it is the very road Christ took Himself. However, the reward is greater than you can imagine because, as Christ said to Pilate, those who hear His truth are identified as His.

Father God, Your Word is truth. Thank You that You allow us to know truth. Strengthen us to stand for what You have revealed as truth. We look to You for boldness, grace and assurance that You will never leave, even during the toughest of battles.

Amen.

Nicole Tlapek is a precious child of her living, awesome God. And a crazy wife of her patient, adoring husband. She owns a private music instruction studio and lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago with her husband, Jake, and teacup yorkie-poo, Watson. Nicole is super passionate about building up the body of Christ through the living truth of God’s Word, and seeing women encourage and edifying each other as they seek their true identity as daughters and sisters in Christ.

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