There is an age-old question that was most famously uttered by Pilate as he was examining Jesus, “What is truth?” If Pilate had a question about it two thousand years ago, imagine how much more confused he would be today!
However, the reality is that our trouble is not in knowing the truth, it is aligning our lives with it.
Pilate knew the truth, but he was not prepared to stand up for it. He had pressing issues to which the truth was very inconvenient, so he interjected some doubt to soothe his conscience and quickly moved on. This manner of dealing with truth goes much further back than Pilate.
In the garden of Eden, Eve had a conversation with Satan. She knew the truth, and in fact, quoted it. But Satan interjected some doubt. Did God really say that? Is that truth? Eve was not prepared to align her actions with what she knew to be true.
We have the same problem today. In fact, most all our problems stem from the fact that we are not willing to plant our feet on the truth and then not budge from that position. The truth becomes inconvenient for our current circumstances, so we move away from it and justify our move by questioning the truth that we know. Examples of this are not hard to come by.
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you, “ says Jesus. But we say, “To get ‘these things’ I must work, and work demands certain things of me. And to get to work on time I must leave so early I do not have time for seeking God. And when I get home, there is dinner and chores and homework and…”
“Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,” says the Apostle Paul. But we say, “If you only knew what my life was like. If you only knew her ways. If you only knew what I have done for her in the past and how unappreciated I am and how hard I work. I need to take care of myself…”
“Fathers…bring [your children] up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord,” says the Apostle Paul. But we say, “I don’t know enough of the Bible to teach my children. Isn’t that why we go to church on Sunday? And, we have ball practice and music lessons and all the extracurricular activities, and I think those are teaching my kids the life skills they need.”
Need I go on? Shall I discuss finances, or how we treat the neighbors, or how we treat our enemies, or our care of our brothers and sisters in Christ, or our prayer lives?
We know but we don’t do because, in the moment, the truth is an inconvenient hindrance to the immediate desires of the flesh. Because in the moment, we question, “What is truth?”
Like a set of tires that are not properly aligned, our misalignment with truth takes time to be revealed. Today, we can be out of alignment and still get from point A to point B. So, we do. And we can again tomorrow, and maybe next week or even next year. But eventually that misaligned life starts to show an uneven wear pattern. Then, the reinforcing strands start to be exposed, but we drive on. Shortly thereafter, we start to notice the poor performance. The ride is getting bumpy. We must constantly keep turning the wheel just to drive straight down the road. And finally, it happens. The tire blows out. The truth, though slow it may be, has brought its guaranteed fruits to bear.
With a car, the tires can be changed, but never is it that easy in life. Shattered lives and relationships are difficult, if not impossible, to piece back together. It would probably be just as easy to find the pieces of the blowout tire and put them back together.
How long will it be before the truth you have been ignoring begins to bear fruit? How long before you reach the point of no return?
Will you acknowledge and align with the truth that you know today, or will you interject just enough doubt to keep doing what you are doing? What is truth?