Author: Caroline Tiller
The word “truth” is a really interesting thing to talk about these days. Depending on who you ask, the truth is either absolute or relative or maybe both depending on whether we’re talking about “truth” or capital-T “the Truth.” Myself, I would argue that “the Truth” is absolute, and found in the Bible, while the little truths of the world are relative to the person wielding them. Like, to me, the statement “London is the best city on Earth” is true, but to another person—or even to me two years ago—the statement “Atlanta is the best city on Earth” is true. There’s no real, universal method to evaluate the two statements, so there’s no real, universal way to know which person is right, or if they’re actually both wrong. But I digress—right now I want to focus on the Truth.
As Christians, we believe that the Bible is God’s word and that everything in it is true. And if everything in the Bible is true, then the Bible is The Truth, because the Bible says that God’s word is The Absolute Truth. Or in other words, my friend Garrett always says that either the Bible is true, or it’s not. If it’s true, then God is real. And if God is real and if the Bible is His word, then God can’t lie or else He wouldn’t be God, which means that the Bible is one big promise made up of all these smaller promises. And since God can’t break promises, all of these promises are True.
Okay, so the Bible is both true to us as believers and also The Truth. Now, what do we do with that?
In John 17:14-19, Jesus is speaking to God about us, saying: “I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.”
We have been charged with living out the Truth because in doing so, we are following in the footsteps of Jesus. The Spirit of Truth (John 16:13) empowers us to share the Truth as Jesus did not simply by saying it, but by living it. It’s one thing to tell someone about Jesus; it’s another for them to experience a glimpse of Him through you.
So I guess the point I’m trying to make is more of a question, and it’s a question for you specifically and individually: Is the Truth something you know in your head because you’ve been taught it and/or told to believe it? Or is the Truth a tool you use to try and make yourself Good? Or do you believe it—really believe it in your head and in your heart and in your bones?
Believing in something because your parents believe it isn’t necessarily a bad thing and using the Truth to advance the Kingdom also isn’t a bad thing, but none of it really means anything if you don’t actually believe in what you’re saying and doing.
As per usual, I want to leave you with a relevant song recommendation (because the Lord loves music, and so do I). There’s this band, The Oh Hellos, that isn’t a “worship” band, but whose music carries more biblical truth and evidence of the Spirit than half the worship music that gets put out today. They’ve got this one song called “The Truth is a Cave,” that speaks to our relationship with truth and The Truth and the Lord’s role in it all.