I wouldn’t want what works unless I’m also convinced that it’s true too. I need both.
I had this thought while reading through an article in my email inbox titled When They Ask “Does Christianity Work?”.
What I found interesting was the article explained how college kids growing up in today’s world aren’t necessarily asking “Is it true?” like students in the 60s would ask. Instead, the overriding question they want answered is “What can help me deal with my pain?”
The more I thought about this desire to find an answer to pain apart from or regardless of whether it’s true, it dawned on me why I’m so passionately against this method of journeying through life: I lived my life that way before and all it did was lead me down a dead end street. More on that thought in a moment.
I want you to imagine a scenario: What if you got married to who you thought was the perfect husband. He said all the right words. He treated you (at least from what you could see) the way you wanted to be treated. He was the perfect husband, the man of your dreams. However, 20 years into the marriage, you find out that all of it was lie. Your husband had only been playing a part, acting so to speak, to cover up the fact that he had a whole other family he had been spending his life with too. Yes, for 20 years the marriage “worked”. And, based on what you saw and what you were being told…you had lived a relatively pain-free, happy, blissful life up until this point.
How would knowing the truth change things? Would you want to disregard this new information and just continue on with this “workable” life? I hope the answer would be a clear no. Learning the truth changes things. When our eyes and our heart are opened to deception we begin to see that just because something works doesn’t mean it will lead us to the ending or the results we are desiring.
This is why what seemingly works must always be placed under the “is it true?” microscope.
After my mom died when I was 18, I ran from truth and went searching for things that could ease my pain and numb my grief. A decade later and I could sum up the journey with this familiar cliche… I had jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire. Yet, this journey ended up teaching me a life long lesson: Looking for what works apart from truth doesn’t last and will not supply the peace, joy, and love that your broken and grieving heart longs for. What works must always be joined with authenticity and truth or we might wake up in 20 years and discover our pain-free bubble has popped because it wasn’t built on truth.