Whatever is True
St. Paul wrote: ". . . whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." Wow. Who talks like that? Wouldn't you love to meet this guy? Is there anyone on the face of the Earth nowadays who can even understand what those adjectives mean much less act upon those words? Please, speak up now, your voice is desperately needed.
Who is to determine what exactly is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, gracious, and excellent? Could it be that my idea of the truth is different than your idea? Is there such a thing as "my truth" and "your truth," or is there simply truth? I believe that there is but one Truth, and I believe we have lost sight of it in a big way in society. In such a big way in fact, that we couldn't see the Truth if it smacked us upside the head. I don't believe that "my truth" can be different than "your truth" because there is in fact one truth, and if we are all seeking that same one truth, then there can be no discrepancy. If I focus on "whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, gracious, excellent, and worthy of praise," and you are focused on the same, how can we not peaceably arrive at the Truth? When did all of this become so confusing? It should be crystal clear... simple... pure ... lovely... etc.
Where do we turn to find out exactly what the Truth is? In courts, we still have to place our hand on a Bible to "swear the whole truth and nothing but the truth." But we all know that the truth is not always told in court. In fact, in a court case where there is a plaintiff and a defendant, all are swearing to tell the truth, yet obviously someone is going to be lying. If they were all telling the actual truth, there would be no case to begin with (generally speaking). Since someone is lying, the plaintiff tells "his truth," and the defendant tells "her truth," and hopefully the judge will find "The Truth." It is agreed by all that there is one truth.
I think the solution lies in the question. If it is not lovely, gracious, pure, just, and honorable, then it is not true. If the fruit of the situation bears an adjective that is opposite of those, it is untrue and it needs to be avoided. Whatever is disagreeable, cowardly, partial, hateful, mixed - these things are not heading in any way, shape, or form towards Truth -- and these are the things we need to shy away from if we are seeking the Truth.
St. Paul gave us another wonderful quote about the fruit of the Spirit (and of course the Spirit is Truth). He said: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, gentleness, and self-control." If you can place your head on a pillow at night when faced with the Truth, and you are filled with the fruits of the Spirit, that is your indicator of the Truth, and that will be enough to face a world of darkness and lies. That is God's grace, and that is the only real judge and jury of the truth. How well do you sleep at night?
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