Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Truth is Truth, Whether You Like It or Not - Guest Blog Post

Thank you so much Shawn Lesile for taking the time write for Coached In Truth. Take some time and dive into this thought provoking perspective of truth!

Truth is Truth, Whether You Like It Or Not

The world around us is rapidly changing, almost faster than we can compute the changes, let alone process them and figure out if they’re changes for the better, or if everything has begun spinning inexorably toward the abyss. Our top political candidates for the presidency are the biggest wild cards our nation has seen so far in history; terrorism is on the rise, becoming more of a household topic than a black dot on the news once or twice a month; human rights advocacy has gone from race, to gender, back to race, back to gender, creating walls, destroying walls, creating equality, destroying equality, inventing new angles to defend, new issues to address; technology is becoming more innovative, creating new advances in the automotive industry, not only giving drivers the chance to experience a car driving itself, but also giving drivers a scare with the ability for computer hackers to literally commandeer the vehicle and control it.

So what do we do? Where do we turn? How do we handle all of this?

I believe it all has to start with the truth. The dictionary.com definition of the word truth is, “the actual state of a matter; in conformity with reality.” So we need to look at the actual state of the matter at hand, at the actual reality of what’s going on, and make a decision from there.

An interesting note about this definition: notice it doesn’t mention anyone’s perception or feelings about a matter. Part of the many changes we are experiencing these days is a progressive emphasis on feelings and perception. A lot of what people hear about different situations is, “well, that may be true for you, but it’s not true for me,” or “oh, well my reality looks different than yours.” But to look at a situation from the angle of THE truth -  the actual state of the matter, the reality of the situation - your truth and my truth don’t matter. My reality and your reality are irrelevant. The only way to accurately approach a situation and hope to gain any bit of insight into what’s actually SUPPOSED to be going on is to look at the truth. What is true?

From a biblical perspective, it’s set up pretty cleverly. “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” Jesus said, in John 14:6. Jesus very clearly said that he was the truth.
I heard it said in a sermon once that everything was perfection when the world was first created, when Adam and Eve existed in the garden of Eden, communing with God as he walked among them. True paradise. But when they ate of the fruit of the forbidden tree, they fell. Perfection became imperfect. When the Law was set forth, in all the dry, tedious glory of Deuteronomy, God wasn’t trying to punish the Israelites or make their lives difficult while they were on earth because God was such a prude and the people couldn’t do anything remotely unclean. No, he was giving them directions on how to be closer to him. On how to get as close to that perfection as possible under the impossible umbrella of imperfection.
And then when Jesus came and fulfilled the Law, our Sinless Savior became perfection. So the actual state of the matter is that Jesus is perfection. And in that perfection, we have a conduit by which we can commune with God, the Creator of the Universe, the fullness of Love itself.

It’s always interesting to me that people get upset and bitter when their life doesn’t work out the way they want it to, even though they have prayed every single day for years for the same thing, and still nothing changes. Though when God says, “my thoughts are higher than your thoughts, my ways are higher than your ways,” and “everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial,” and “be holy, as I am holy,” he isn’t concerned about people’s lives working out the way they want them to work out.
The actual state of the matter is that when we read the bible, we see the heart of God, that he works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will (Ephesians 1:11) and that he does everything for his name’s sake (Psalm 106:8). At the same time, he doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve (Psalm 103:10) and he wants everyone to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). He sent Jesus to this world to save it (John 3:17), but called those who wanted to follow him to a high standard (John 8:31, Luke 9:23-26, Luke 14:25-33).

Isn’t it fascinating how there are two things at work at the same time? God is for us (Romans 8:31), and is for himself (Ephesians 1:3-14). But the reality that these situations conform to is that one doesn’t happen without the other. Now, our perception or our feeling on the matter might reflect a different picture, but given what we’ve talked about so far, it’s not true. Yes, life may sometimes suck - sickness and disease abound, hate and anger thrive in this world, deception and lack of integrity have become the new norm - but that doesn’t make those core statements any less true. The fall of man happened, and Satan is the ruler of the earth (2 Corinthians 4:4), so no matter what we do, how much we obey God, pray to God, give to God…it’s not going to exempt us from living on this fallen world, subject to the ails of the age, until it is time to go Home.

However, we do have “his very great and precious promises” (2 Peter 1:4a) that we can lean on, feed on, rely on, and cling to in the meantime. “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:4), “My soul finds rest in God alone” (Psalm 62:1), “God is our refuge” (Psalm 62:8), “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:14). There are thousands upon thousands of promises that God has given us, “so that through them [we] may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption of the world caused by evil desires (2 Peter 1:4b).

Seek the truth, and don’t be swayed by perceptions or feelings. Let the truth be your guide.

Shawn

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