Tag Archives: truth

Truth is Truth

Bible Light

“Truth is truth.  It’s unbending in that way.  Reality is what you run into when you’re wrong.  Y’know, some of you want to think that what you believe makes something true or false.  It’s true or false regardless of what you believe about it.  Truth is unbending in that way.  You remember what they said, ‘God said it, I believe it, and that settles it’?  No, God said it and that settles it whether you believe it or not.”  —Steve Cobb, pastor in The Most Worthy Struggle (Feb. 2011)

Although I believe the Old and New Testaments are truth and Jesus Himself claimed to be the way, the truth and the life, I do not claim that everything I understand and believe is truth.  I am still studying and learning, casting off old traditions that leave questions and don’t square up, and holding fast to those that through study, application and experience I am convinced are solid.

Wisdom Wednesday: Perspective

IMG_0490 cosmic.self_smw

Have you ever thought one thing and then heard or saw something that changed your perspective, which changed your mind about what you believed was true? Or have you ever been stressed out about something or someone, like thinking a person didn’t like you but later finding out she thought you didn’t like her?

In the letter to the church at Philippi, Paul encouraged two women who were at odds with each other to make peace, and he told the rest of the people to help them. Then he gave further instructions, including the power of positive thinking, that would help keep the peace of God among them.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” —Philippians 4:8

“Anger so clouds the mind that it cannot perceive the truth.” —Latin proverb

Sometimes things are, indeed, as they appear or as we’ve been told, but sometimes they are not. Sometimes in order to know what’s true, we have to be willing to see things from another vantage point. A couple of weeks ago, my second son told me about a short, amazing T-Rex illusion video that demonstrates the principle of perspective perfectly. It is very cool!

Even after seeing the T-Rex as it truly is, it is nearly impossible to avoid seeing the optical illusion when the perspective keeps changing. Life is constantly changing and in the same way, its changing circumstances can cause us to forget what is true, and we can start believing a lie. Or sometimes because we trust our own perception or what seems to be true, we refuse to see things any other way and remain stuck in an illusion.

“It was an illusion, but to the perception, it was as powerful as reality.” —Steve Cobb, pastor

Any good life coach will tell you that the first step to transformation is to change your thinking. The Bible gives the same principle. Romans 12:2b says, “…be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…” The context has to do with how to test and know what the will of God is—what is good, acceptable and perfect—but the principle of the first step in transformation is there none the less.

“It is not the problem that’s the problem. It is your attitude about the problem.” —Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean

“We don’t see things the way they are. We see things the way we are.” —The Talmud

“What we see depends mainly on what we look for.” —John Lubbock

“Most people see what they want to, or at least what they expect to.” —Martha Grimes

Here is another video that illustrates the power of both positive and negative thinking. It’s a bit longer, but if you tend to deal with stress, it is well-worth watching.

Edited on January 9, 2014 to add:  Please see my additional comment below.

If you liked this post, you might also like:  Don’t Panic

Wisdom Wednesday: To Tell the Truth


Photo credit: Yoshi Esmée

Have you ever told a ‘white lie’?  Have you ever wondered if there are times when it’s okay to lie or withhold the truth?  Is it wise to always speak only the truth?  Consider the movie Liar, LiarProverbs 10:32 says, “The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness.”  Frowardness is basically twistedness, a turning from good to evil.

I may lose some readers on this one, but I hope you’ll hear me out.  It is not my intention to harm or change anyone’s convictions, but to answer a valid question and to give understanding.  I don’t believe this subject is as black and white as some make it out to be, and this post is certainly not exhaustive.

The Bible clearly teaches that God hates wicked deceitfulness, but contrary to popular belief, the nineth commandment does not say, “Thou shalt not lie,” it  says, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor (Exodus 20:16).  There are a few instances in which lying or withholding the truth appears to be permissible.  The midwives disobeyed and lied to Pharaoh because they feared God (Exodus 1).  Rahab lied to the soldiers to protect the Israelite spies (Joshua 2).  Jonathan lied to his father, King Saul, about David’s whereabouts, because his father wanted to murder David (1 Samuel 20).  People who believe we should never, ever lie will admit those three examples were, indeed, permitted, but those same people would also say, “They should have trusted the Lord, and the fact that they lied, reveals a lack of trust in Him.”  But permit me to give another example.  Samuel withheld the truth from King Saul about going to anoint a new king and was instructed by the LORD Himself to give an alternate or secondary reason for going to Bethlehem to prevent Saul from seeking to kill him (1 Samuel 16).  Why did the LORD not tell Samuel, “Just trust me.  I’ve got you covered”?  In each of the examples given, murder— an evil was being prevented.

The Bible also clearly teaches that the devil is a liar and is the father of lies (John 8:44).  His intent is to deceive and destroy.  A Danish proverb says, “If lies are to find credence, they must be patched with truth.”  Satan has no problem stating enough of the truth to get us to believe a lie, but as a Yiddish proverb says, “A half truth is a whole lie.”

So, what’s the answer?  Perhaps the first place to start is to consider the purpose or reason we sometimes lie.  We lie to protect ourselves and/or others either from unpleasantness, chastisement, hurt or real danger, like when we’ve done something wrong and want to cover it up, when we want to be kind and not hurt someone’s feelings, or when someone is in physical danger.  We lie or withhold the truth to deceive others in order to gain an advantage over them, like when we give false information about ourselves on a job application or seek to cheat someone out of something so that we might benefit regardless of how it affects anyone else.

“A lie prevails until truth arrives.”  —Mexican proverb

“If you lie and then tell the truth, the truth will be considered a lie.”  —Ancient Sumerian proverb

“Honesty is the best policy.” —American proverb

Proverbs 12:22 says, “Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.”  God hates when we seek to deceive someone else for our own gain and with evil intent, but He loves when we deal with others with integrity.  Bottom line— consider the two greatest commandments— “Jesus said unto him, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’”  (Matthew 22:37-40)

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