True. I love the Greek meaning of the word looking at it being unconcealed – nothing hidden – it is as plain as day. It reminds me of the state of humanity before the fall – naked and not ashamed.
My upbringing had a lot to do with making a big deal of what was true. On reflection I think we were right to have a pursuit of the true. It’s sad, however, that looking for the true was left on its own – not the truth in love, or truth, justice and mercy. The true was left on its own as though it could be and as a result what was true became more about point-scoring than actually revelling in the unconcealed. Knowing what was true was enough for its own sake, as a way’ of getting one up on those who didn’t see it your way.
Since those days I have been around environments where what is true isn’t valued as highly as preferable alternatives like what the mood of the day is, what’s the going trend, what’s the breeze of teaching that’s passing by and what’s the culture picking up as a favourable stance to take. As a result some mistake grace for an allowance and active tolerance of falsehood. Nothing could be further from the truth. A good purpose of grace is giving the environment in which the quest for the true can take place.
Really embracing what is true and especially if the foundations are based on what is true then that will lead to the one who personifies the True and announced Himself as the Way, the Truth and the Life. Reaffirming again that to look for what is true is not just about statements of facts but living engagement with the bigger picture that those facts point towards.
Even in some of the circles I hang around in, it’s easy to relax that quest for what is true overall to just stick to what’s been the going thing for a while. It is very convenient to just go with the flow and not upset the rhythm some people have developed on various issues. Yet at this time in my life, more than ever before, I don’t just want to be lead by my gut or my conscience, or even long held convictions – I want something even deeper than that which is found in that life-giving relationship with the One who embodies what is True.
If that means not going with the flow, as long as I remain with Him, I will find contentment. If it means not making progress as others would perceive it, as long as I remain with Him, I will find contentment. I know what the alternative is like, I know what it is to be a man-pleaser and jump through the hoops life has presented and all the time dying a little inside, because I knew for all the good intent behind some of those flows, it just didn’t match up to what was true.
I am not as uptight on this matter as I have been before. Another aspect of grace is that it leaves me desirous to engage other people in exploring issues, but not getting distraught if they don’t end up believing what I believe. That grace and patience is as much about growing and learning through the experiences and developing more grace and patience as it is for the hope that people will explore for themselves the importance of what is true.
One thing is for certain, the quest for the true is worthwhile – it would be tragic to let time pass by in other pursuits only to end up missing the point because the aim just wasn’t true.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden