Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Loving truth

2 Thess. 2:10b “…because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”

It is sobering to realize that this statement implies that we don’t naturally love the truth. Nor, for that matter, can we be saved without loving the truth. Jesus said in another place that no one can come unto God, except the Father draw him. We are helpless in our natural state. That fact is the truth.We have a natural antipathy to the truth: it implies something about us that challenges our sense of independence. But the scriptures tell us emphatically that we are not independent.

We simply don’t like hearing the truth about ourselves. Pontius Pilate even attempted to engage Jesus Christ in a philosophical discussion of the nature of truth when he asked “What is truth?” Such a question springs naturally out of our hearts.Our love of the truth causes us to "ask for the old paths, where is the good way." It directs us to the "strait gate" and "narrow way" that leads to life eternal. Because we "love the truth," we jealously guard against allowing truth to slip through our fingers to be "trodden under foot of men." "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip" (Heb. 2:1). All this we do because we "love the truth!"

The accumulation of facts gives us science. Is this the truth? Or is there more? Facts mixed with educated guesses give us half-truths. Distortions that rely on fact to support corruption, are lies. And we are inundated both in the world and in the Church with partial truth. More often then not it is our own selfish desires that cause us to accept so much of what we want to be true. We choose what is comfortable, with a mind set what we agree with agrees with us. What we agree with or what we choose to believe to often departs from the truth. We want to be agreeable. We want to be accepted.We want to appear reasonable. And therefore our pursuit of the truth is tempered by our leaning toward disconcertion. We become half-hearted and without desire, for perfect truth; fading into a dim blindness. The truth does not elude us. It becomes obscure by our want of it rather then our need. We seek after it by gesture and innuendo allowing our hearing to be dulled. Our failure becomes complete when we reach that selective hearing state and hear only what we want. In our self-satisfied yet empty state, truth becomes that aloof phantom of spirituality we chase after but can never attain, perceivable but not livable.

Truth…What I hear, does it make me feel good? Does it please me? Can I live with it?Can I have it in small doses?Will it cause me to change? Is there an immediacy to act on it? We may even laugh in the face of it! We ask more of the truth then it is, then we are willing to gain from its presence in our lives. Our selfishness out weighs reality and we can then become embroiled in rituals for the sake of security or we well up inside ourselves independent. Secure in ourselves. We lend ourselves without commitment or submission. There in is the middle ground; we are groundless. For without the truth to lead us everything is in a flux of what I want when I want it. How much I’m willing is the measure of how much truth we’ve allowed to effect us.

How can we become so blind? How can we be so insensitive? How can we run from rather than run to the truth? How can we live without joy? The results of selfishness is, we unknowingly become prisoners of ourselves. Bound up in cords of half-truths we suppress the desire to love… the truth…, which can set us free. We measure the ebb and flow of what we accept as truth. What we allow to touch our lives. What we want to believe… and no more or we would have to act on it.

We come to believe we have control of our input and our output… self determined but alas self-deceived. Lost, we wonder in circles which become ruts. In self-assumed safety we dig deeper and deeper. This is at the heart of religiosity. If we all do it together and tell ourselves it will be ok… it will. Rote, rite and ritual do it again and again. Empty of love. We have left the truth for some semblance of order… and the hope of perfecting that order. We love to act in concert not for the love of others but to confirm; we must be right if others agree. We just love to go through the motions. We love the symbols of truth, icons or idols. We come to love every thing about it, but the truth itself.

Thank God the truth is greater than us all. Greater then our certainty, greater then our foolishness. The truth is not a rule nor a set of rules nor a carnal book nor any worldly standard we can set or imagine… the truth is all the love there is forever… the truth is Jesus…He and He alone is the truth the way and the life… who has set us free…Seekers of the truth that have ears to hear… come follow… the truth… Jesus…Still we continue to answer, with questions… rather then simply obey and follow…

We replace love with a carnal substitute; repetitions, knowledge, icons, anything we can call spiritual. And how wrong can we be amid the throng. The other alternative is denial we move away from the truth driving deeper into ourselves. Trusting our selves to no one. In a crowd we remain alone within our self. Who knows better than I. Self love keeps me attached to the god in me… who turns out to be me. Denying the truth for want of a greater love… myself. But the only answer is to “receive the love of the truth” which is Jesus Christ!“Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free!”


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