BY JORDAN MAYER
"Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ..."
We live in a world at war with the truth. Or more specifically, at war with a definitive truth. We are encouraged to live our truth and speak our truth. But if everyone has their own truth then there is no truth! And it turns out that none of us are all that good at defining truth for ourselves. And there is a reason for this. Jeremiah 17:9 tells us, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?" In order to know what truth really is, we have to look for it outside of ourselves.
In Jesus' high priestly prayer, He prays, "Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth". Where else could truth be found but in a perfect, all knowing, and infinitely good God? But simply understanding where the truth comes from is only the first step. We have to know the truth, and knowing the truth comes primarily through knowing God's Word. Psalm 1 provides us with the pattern: "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, no sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night" (Psalm 1:1-2). There is no substitute for daily, intentional time spent in the Word. There's also no shame in starting small. Building habits can be difficult, spiritual or otherwise. Perhaps it's been a week, a month, or even longer since you've spent personal time in His Word. Whether it be 5 minutes, a half hour, on break, at home, in the morning, at night; it may look a little bit different for each of us. Remember, it's about quality not quantity. I have fallen into the trap far too often of thinking God will be pleased by the number of chapters I read or the number of minutes I spend. But this kind of thinking misses the point. When we spend time with those we love, we don't watch the clock or track our time. I have to remind myself that I am actively pursuing relationship with my Lord and Savior. I want to know Him better and I want to be changed by what I read. I enjoy reading the Bible because I enjoy Him!
The more time we spend in the Word, allowing its truth to soak deep into our hearts and minds, the more we are transformed by its truth (Romans 12:2). I can feel the difference when I haven't spent dedicated time in His Word. When Jesus said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4), He was highlighting the importance of spiritual sustenance. As we need air to breath or food to eat, we need the truth of God's Word to feed our souls.
But not only do we need the Word in our lives, we need other believers too. The Christian life is not a solo sport, just like the Church is not each individual member but the collective whole. One of the primary purposes of Christian fellowship is to encourage and remind one another of the truth. On our own, we are prone to wander and be deceived by the world and our own sinful flesh. Left to my own devices, I can rationalize and convince myself of almost anything. But, there is such comfort in knowing that God has provided people in my life who will constantly and consistently remind me of the truth. Finding people who will always tell you what you want to hear is relatively easy, they are a dime a dozen. But finding people who speak the truth in love, who are not afraid to call out sin in my life, are a blessing to my soul. "Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy" (Proverbs 27:5-6).
The world is constantly changing and the truth may be difficult to see, but God's Word does not change because He does not change. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Fill up on His Word. Fellowship with His people. Rejoice in His truth.