What is Truth?


 “So you are a king?” Pilate said. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. I was born and came into the world for this reason: to testify to the truth. Whoever accepts the truth listens to my  voice.” “What is truth?” Pilate asked. After Pilate said this, he returned to the Jewish leaders and said, “I find no grounds for any charge against him…” (John 18:37-38, Common English Bible).

I have been giving a great deal of thought lately to truth. As I am writing this, I am watching the first presidential debate. I am not sure there is much truth coming out of my television right now.

Earlier today, I read an article about both candidates and who was the most truthful. I don’t want to have my blog descend into the muck pile of presidential politics. But, where are we when we are trying to determine who is the most truthful. By definition, when we say who is the most truthful, we are really saying neither is truthful.

That is scary to me. We are supposed to be a people who value truth and yet we are about to put into office a person (regardless of who wins) are far from being honest people. As I look around our society, from social media, to our entertainment, to the politics of our government, truth seems to be something frightening.

In the lesson above Jesus says, “…whoever accepts the truth listens to my voice.” We, people of faith in Jesus Christ, by His words, need to be people who are constantly in search of the truth. As I read those words, it says to me, we are called to be in constant prayer, for God to reveal the truth to us.

Seek truth. We also need to be people expect truth. Prior to the debate I watched the popular television show The Big Bang Theory. In the episode, Penny slips and tells people about a friend. Then she lied. Her other friend says how easily she told the lie and how well she did in the telling. Shouldn’t that worry (assuming she was a real person) Penny’s friends? While I realize this is entertainment, how many of us look the other way when we know the truth is not present?

We live in an era where it is so easy to spread things that just are not true. Anyone with the skill to operate a keyboard can go on Facebook and make false claims that can spread like wildfire. With the skills to operate photo software can manipulate pictures to spread untruth. With the ability to click on a “share” link any of us can perpetuate and move forward with things that quite simply are untrue.

Pilate asked, “What is truth?” I think we should be able to answer the question. Truth is truth. It is not what we would like it to be. It is not what we would wish it to be. Webster defines truth as, “the real facts about something.”

As people of faith, we need to be people who seek the real facts. Even more, we need to be people who speak the real facts. We need to be people who investigate, who research and only when we have reached educated conclusions should we speak. If we are unable to investigate and research, let us be silent. It is far better that we be honest and silent than to speak that which is not true.

As followers of someone who embodied truth, as His disciples we need to always be about truth. To do less is leaves us unfaithful in our call. I am not naive enough to talk about the faith of either candidate, nor do I really know much about their faith or lack there of. But, at least for me, telling the truth is not as much about them as it is about us.

The one thing about both candidates I know is true is, at least for now, neither is talking. The debate is over. I for one am not upset about that.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Grace and Peace,

Copyright 2016, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

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