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Handling Truth

March 9th, 2009

“Present yourself to God as one . . who correctly handles the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 NIV

“Never try to adjust the truth to your life; adjust your life to the truth.”

My thoughts today are about “handling truth.”

In the 1992 movie, “A Few Good Men,” Jack Nicholson’s character, Col. Jessup USMC, angrily answers the young lawyer questioning him, “The truth? You can’t handle the truth!” I guess the question for each of us ultimately is all about how you handle the truth.

There is so much that parades itself today as truth but is far from it. Maybe the single most important thing in life is your ability to know and recognize truth. Both your safety and success may depend upon that – in life, as well as eternity. If you mishandle the truth when you know it to be truth, then each time you do so you will lose some measure of your capacity to differentiate between what is true and what is not. Unless you are devoted and hold fast to the truth you know, you will not discern the truth when you need to know it.

I think that is symptomatic of much of today’s culture, and the reason many people have a wealth of information without the ability to sift out mistaken assumptions and misleading opinions from what is and will remain true. Today’s world is as confused as when Jesus stood before Pilate who asked, “What is truth?” John 18:38.

Until you rightly answer that, your life is like a ship without a rudder, driven by shifting currents but not directed by purpose. See 1 Timothy 1:19 NIV. There is a wide divide between those who cherish and follow truth and those who would try to use and bend truth to serve their own agendas. The Bible describes people having, “exchanged the truth of God for a lie . .” Romans 1:25 NIV.

Paul warned young Timothy of those who, “to suit their own desires . . will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4 NIV. “We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable.” Alexander Solzhenitsyn. That is tragic to one’s soul, no matter how small or needful the compromise may seem at the time. There is no partial truth; anything not completely true is not true at all.

A simple but absolutely essential, core principle is: be true to the Truth! Never try to adjust the truth to your life; adjust your life to the truth. Here is Solomon’s advice, “Buy the truth and do not sell it.” Proverbs 23:23 NIV. The Apostle Paul chose to live his life that way, as should you.  Here is what he wrote to the Corinthians, “We have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:2 NKJV.

Truth is a Person, not an abstract idea. And that Person is Jesus, God’s Son. With no fear of contradiction, Jesus declares, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life! No man comes to the Father but through Me” John 14:6 NIV. No man really comes to the truth, until and unless they first come to Christ. That’s when “the Truth will set you free.” John 8:32 NIV. See Psalm 86:11/119:30-31 NIV.

My prayer for you today is to handle the truth with care.

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