Do we desire to know the truth even if truth looks nothing like we imagined it would or should look?
Do we desire to know the truth even if it makes us uncomfortable, even it doesn’t fit neatly into our paradigm or our own agendas?
I’ve been thinking quite a bit about this lately.
There’s a part of me that thinks I would have loved being a news journalist or a criminal investigator. I like getting to the truth. There’s something inside me that desires accuracy. I can work with truth. I can’t work with deception. Truth, no matter how hard it might be to swallow sometimes, is at least, a sure foundation on which to begin. But deception, no matter how attractive, is built on a shaky, uncertain foundation…which means that anything you pile on top of it is tainted.
I think this is one reason I love hearing the stories of skeptics or atheists who come to know and love Christ. They don’t arrive at that decision to be a Christ follower, half-heartedly. They don’t stumble into it. They have done research (regardless of whether or not what they discover makes them uncomfortable or ends up prompting more questions instead of less). They have examined and studied all the evidence and have made a decision based upon the most accurate information they have. It’s certainly not an easy route. It requires humility and a heart that is willing to be broken or shaken to the core. BUT, it is a productive and worthwhile route because the end result is a sure foundation on which to stand.
Jesus came and announced that He was “the way the truth and the life” and that “no one comes to the Father except through Him” John 14:6. He didn’t claim to be someone who simply pointed us in the right direction. Instead, he claimed to be THE direction, the path. He’s not just the compass holder, He’s the actual compass. He is not just a truth teller. He is truth. He is not just a life giver. He is life. He’s not just the bread giver. He is the bread.
After writing these thoughts down yesterday morning, I noticed a couple of common threads woven throughout the rest of the day. My coworker read the first few chapters of Hebrews 1 during a morning prayer time.
“Long ago God spoke to the fathers by the prophets at different times and in different ways. In these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son. God has appointed him heir of all things and made the universe[a] through him. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of his nature, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. So he became superior to the angels, just as the name he inherited is more excellent than theirs.” (1-4)
A few portions resonated with me as I was still reflecting on the thoughts I jotted down earlier in morning about this deep desire to seek truth, to know truth and to live truth. These verses in Hebrews reminded me that God made the universe through Jesus and that Jesus is the reflection of God’s glory. I like how the verse says that He is the “exact expression of his nature” It’s that phrase “exact expression” I love so much. It reminds me of why I like getting to the truth of things. When you know the truth about something then you know the “exact expression.” You can rest assured that there are no errors or falsities in that expression. I was curious to see how other translations worded that verse too.
the exact representation (NIV)
the express image of his person (KJV)
the exact imprint of his nature (ESV)
expressed the very character of God (NLT)
The “exact imprint” I like that! It reminded me of how fingerprints can help investigators identify a suspect and help get to the truth of a matter.
Then later in the day on Twitter I saw this quote that had been tweeted out by Lee Strobel
“Either we conform our desires to the truth or we conform the truth to our desires.” –Os Guinness
This made me smile because as I was writing earlier in the morning about this desire to know truth and how I love hearing about the journey of skeptics and atheists, I actually thought about Strobel’s journey of becoming a Christ follower… a former investigative journalist and a former atheist.
I love the quote Strobel shared: “Conforming our desires to the truth” leads to a firm foundation. “Conforming the truth to our desires” leads to a shaky, undependable foundation.”Conforming our desires to the truth” takes a ton of humility, courage, objectiveness. “Conforming the truth to our desires” will not stand the test of time. It results in deceiving ourselves as we attempt to create God into our own image instead of allowing “the exact expression” of God to shape us and our lives.