Tuesday, May 4, 2021

A Confidence in Knowing

If we must always be aware of the existence of things that we do not - and in some cases, cannot - know, then how can we ever know anything at all? 

This is the reason that truth has become so watered down in our culture. It's difficult for us to live in a space where we know what we know, but we also know that what we know is not the fullness of truth. We cannot handle the tension between being so certain and having any hesitation at all, so what we have done is to determine that truth is only what you can see of it at any given time. Truth is only what is right in front of you and does not exist outside of your own perspective of it. 

In other words, there is no truth but the truth that you know and the truth that you know should be sufficient for whatever you decide to do with it. 

No one can fault you for not knowing what you don't know, right? That doesn't seem fair. 

But truth doesn't ask you to act on that which you do not know. Truth doesn't expect you to know the fullness of it. Rather, truth expects you to have only a limited perspective. All that truth asks is that you recognize how limited your perspective is. 

You see, we think there is no fundamental difference between acknowledging truth and knowing truth, but the truth is (see what I did there?) that there is a fundamental difference. Acknowledging truth means confessing that truth exists, whether or not you know what truth is at any given point in time or space. Knowing truth is...more difficult.

And this is why truth requires faith. It's necessary. Faith is that thing that lets us confess at any given moment that there is something bigger than we know. That there is something greater than we comprehend. Faith extends our knowing beyond our confidence and into the assurance that something beyond us is knowable. 

Faith is our constant confession that truth is more than we know of it. Faith is our constant pursuit of, and adherence to, this truth. 

Faith, then, is a truth in and of itself. Its foundation is a knowing of what is, at the present time, unknown.

If, then, we live in faith, we can be confident in knowing both what we know and what we do not yet know (and what we may not ever know). We don't have to let our questions about our own limitations hinder us from knowing, for our faith fills in the gaps of truth and brings it to fullness. We can then go about knowing what we know, in constant knowing of what we do not know, and have, by faith, a fullness of knowing. 

Did you follow all that? 

It's difficult, I know. It's tough to wrap our minds around this, particularly in a culture that so severely limits truth to our own understanding of it. But the moment that we are able to step out of our own perspective and acknowledge our blind spots, the moment we embrace the questions that our limited perspective leaves us with, we find that we have more answers than questions. Our knowing is somehow more full in the midst of our unknowing. We are more sure, more certain, in humble confession of our finiteness than we ever are in false confidence of our completeness. 

And that's because our small, narrow, limited definition of truth requires something else, something that we know to the core of our being is not truly compatible with truth. What is that? 

Stay tuned.  

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