Thursday, July 4, 2019


Job didn't know what was going on in his life, or why such terrible things were happening to him, but he knew two things and he asserted them without fear: God is good, and I am righteous. For this, his friends thought him either foolish or blind (or worse), and we find ourselves in a world not unlike Job's. 

Our world doesn't believe in truth. Not only does it not believe in truth, but it wants to tell you that you can't, either. If you do have something that you believe with all of your heart, then you're either foolish or blind (or worse); often, you're arrogant. How can you claim to know something when you have not seriously considered all of the possible alternatives and other perspectives on the matter? You can only see through your own eyes, so you can never truly know anything at all. 

At the same time that there is no truth, of course, the statement that there is no truth is obviously absolutely true, thus refuting its own argument. But...that's nitpicking. (Isn't it?) 

The trouble in today's world is that if you live like there is a truth and like you actually believe it, others will think you arrogant. They will think you completely inflexible and incapable of change because you assert something that seems unchanging to them. 

Yes and no. 

Truth is, by its nature, unchanging; what is true today is true tomorrow. This is what truth means. But truth is also, by its nature, dynamic; we come to understand it better or worse every day. And that changes the way that we live by it. 

But the only way to discover the dynamic nature of truth is to live as though it is true and see where that takes you. This world wants you to just keep your mind open, to always be thinking and contemplating and considering and never coming down anywhere too firmly, for the very next thing could change everything. Or so the world claims. And so the best approach to truth for the world is never to have any because you simply can't know even what you think you can know and if you have to tomorrow declare something new, then you were arrogant today and tomorrow, you're a liar. Maybe a hypocrite. Yes, even where you think you've settled on something, you should always remember that there is data you haven't received yet, so what you nothing at all. You just can't possibly know it. 

That approach doesn't get us anywhere near real truth, and it doesn't give us a life that is worth living. It's no help in times of trouble, no comfort in times of mourning. It's a vapor in the wind, nothing at all. And it's complete bunk.

The real search for truth requires that we commit to it and live by it. It requires us every day to say, "Here's what I believe, and I'm going to live accordingly." Not because we're arrogant and inflexible about it, but just the opposite - because we are willing to see how our truth works out in the real world. We're willing to put it to the actual test. Not some intellectual, subjective, perspective-based test that rests on our own privilege or learning or whatever, but an actual test where we discover whether or not what we believe to be true "works" in the real world. If it does, then we come to believe it more firmly; if it does not, then we revamp it and try again, ever coming closer to a real, vital, life-giving truth. 

Ever becoming more like Jesus.

Not only is it not arrogant, then, to claim a truth and to live by it, but it actually requires great humility. For you must always be willing to say (and this life frequently requires you to), "I was certain that I knew it, but I wasn't getting it quite right. Let me try again." You have to keep changing your posture while living out truth, so committing to something you're sure you know isn't arrogant; rather, it gives you opportunity after opportunity to practice humbling yourself.  

At the end of yesterday's post, I left off with a question - what do you know? And it seems such a silly question in a world that claims you can't know anything without being arrogant, foolish, blind, bigoted, hateful, hypocritical, and so on. But the world is wrong on this one; you absolutely can, and should, know something. 

And you can only truly know anything by living it out. 

So how are you living? What does your life say that you know is true? How's that working for you?

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