“The truth isn’t a thing of fact or reason. It’s simply what everyone agrees on.” ~ The Wizard, Wicked the Musical
I love that show and have often said that I would have had a happier childhood if it had been around years ago. Margaret Hamilton, the witch in the Wizard of Oz, terrified me. I think I was a teen before I made it all the way to the end of the movie.
But that’s off point. Today, I want to talk about truth. Absolute truth.
What do you think?
Do you believe in the absolute truth—truth that is valid at all times and in all places?
I do. I must.
Because relative truth frightens me almost as much as Margaret Hamilton.
Let’s look at both to find out why…
Relative Truth – Truth that is true at this time and place. It’s true to some people and not to others. It’s true now but may not have been true in the past and may not be true again in the future. Relative truth is always subject to change being solely based on the perspective of people
Absolute truth– Truth that is lasting. It was true in the past and it will be true in the future. It is not influenced by the opinions of people or by fluctuating circumstances. Absolute truth is the same for all people . . . everywhere. It is not invented by culture or religion and it will always BE truth whether people believe it or not.
According to a study by the Barna Group, three out of four American adults believe that truth is always relative to the person and their situation.
Do you see a problem with that?
If truth is relative there will always be culture clashes, generation gaps, and societal chaos. People trying to live together with conflicting truths.
Let me give you a couple of examples:
An honor killing or shame killing is the homicide of a member of a family by other members, due to the perpetrators’ belief that the victim has brought shame or dishonor upon the family. (Wikipedia)
For most of us, the idea of honor killings appalls us but in many cultures, there is nothing more important than the “honor” of the family.
Let’s come closer to home.
Shading the truth has become not only acceptable but expected. We live in a world where we don’t believe much of what people say (especially politicians) because everyone is simply “persuasively marketing.”
I could go on all day making a list of things we discuss and debate . . . relative truths we believe simply because our friends, teachers, leaders, or __________ say so.
Whew! There has to be a better way!
I believe that is why out of His goodness, God gave us living breathing absolute truth.
Who said, “This is why I was born and came into the world: to tell people the truth. And everyone who belongs to the truth listens to me” John 18:37
We can learn the absolute truth from Jesus.
No matter what we say, the truth is not “what everyone agrees on.”
Sinful people will never come to an agreement on their own.
But we try. You know . . . the power of persuasion. Write a convincing post or find one that supports our views and put it on social media because everyone knows, he or she who has the most likes, shares, and retweets must be right. Right?
In an attempt to have our “truth” win . . . we get ugly. Harsh unkind words get spoken and feelings get hurt. And I’m not just talking about our politicians. People the Christian community is guilty too.
I sometimes wonder what Jesus thinks when His children preach His love and forgiveness but speak criticism and condemnation.
And I’m not just finger-pointing here…
I get it. I’m a pastor’s wife. “Doing it right” was my goal. In fact, I worked so hard to do my life “right” that I didn’t have much patience for people who said they were Christians but didn’t act like it. If you are someone who felt judged or unloved by me . . . I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I was wrong.
We’re all sinners, just trying to figure it out.
And to figure it out we need the Truth!
We need Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Following Jesus truth frees us from truth analyzing.
You and I don’t have to decide who’s right. We can be free from debating views, ideas, and opinions.
We can simply trust God’s good truth . . . Jesus.
His teachings are true at all times and in all places.
Sure it makes us feel good to have everyone agree with us. If all our friends agree with us we must be right.
But when we look at life with an eternal perspective . . . does any opinion other than God’s matter?
And Jesus said He came to show us God.
“The Father and I are one.” John 10:30
Out of His goodness and love, the Father gave us Jesus not only to save us through His death and resurrection but to show us His character.
Jesus . . . God in human flesh.
He showed us the truth of who God is and what He wants.
Jesus demonstrated love and self-sacrifice, compassion and kindness. He poured out grace, mercy, and forgiveness coming from a servant’s heart. He lived with humility and patience, gentleness and self-control.
And I believe He is Truth because He told His disciples He would die and rise again, they saw it and proclaimed it. The truth of Jesus changed them from timid followers into bold proclaimers of truth.
All this made possible by a good God who wants a relationship with us.
So, even if everyone disagrees . . . I believe Jesus is Absolute Truth!
I won’t preach it to try to persuade you.
I will simply share my story and tell you of the amazing ways He works in my life, not because I want you to agree with me. But because I hope that through my story you will see God’s goodness and love.
It really overwhelms and humbles me. God could have left me as I was, a “good” girl “doing it right.” He could have left me judgmental and critical . . . but He didn’t.
And I’m here to tell you this is better!
No persuasion. No arguing. No manipulation.
Just a girl who wants you to know Jesus . . . the Absolute Truth who showed us God’s good character.
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