Many people today have a strange view of what “truth” means. They may call it a progressive view to say that “truth is relative,” but even if I believe with all my being that an apple is a pear, it doesn’t make it so.
I did an episode of the GC covering this way back in 2011. The biggest problem with the idea of truth being relative is its foundational argument that states, “There is no such thing as an absolute truth.” This laughably self-defeating argument relies on a contradiction. Saying “there’s no such thing as an absolute” is ITSELF an ABSOLUTE STATEMENT. How can you argue against absolutes by using an absolute statement? Answer: You can’t. The argument should fall apart right there, right?
Unfortunately, people can be quite stubborn about their beliefs. The problem comes when they are confronted with the truth and reject it outright. This is where the phrase comes in that says, “Don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind’s made up!”
So in that GC video, I used the example of gravity. The law of gravity holds an absolute truth. If 10 people jump out of a plane at 20,000 feet without a parachute, they will ALL die. This is just as true for the 10th person as it is for the 1st one. That’s the nature of truth – it is absolute. Truth must be truth for all, or it isn’t truth at all.
Truth Never Lies
The most convincing lies have an element of truth to them, which makes them sound believable. But truth itself does not lie. A clever person can use a truth to mislead someone, but this act twists that truth into something other than a simple fact. It becomes corrupted and no longer truth because it now suggests something that is not true at all. It is now a lie.
Example: I used to work for a company that was less than upfront about certain things. When I realized this, I became very uncomfortable and left due to their questionable tactics. Basically, we were being taught to sell a product by telling people a truth that would lead them to believe a lie.
I could tell you that widget A will not cost you a dime because I’m gonna give it to you. But what I don’t tell you is that widget A is of no use at all without widget B, and well…widget B is definitely gonna cost you. This isn’t only a lie because it’s misleading, it’s a lie of omission because I’m deliberately NOT telling you a key truth about the product.
So it’s possible for someone to state a truth, but in actuality be lying to your face.
Truth Has No Agenda
When people lie, there’s always an agenda involved. Whether they mean to blatantly fool you for some nefarious purpose or simply don’t want to admit the truth, the goal is to deceive. Deception is always agenda driven. There’s a purpose to it, a reason behind it, and it often requires several more lies to “support” it.
On the other hand, truth doesn’t need an agenda. It stands on its own. Truth is simply truth. If I tell you the truth about something, there is no ulterior motive involved. I’m simply stating fact.
That’s the great thing about truth – it’s simple and easy to remember. When you lie about something, you have to remember what the lie was to continue the farce and pretend it’s true. But as the saying goes, “when you tell the truth, you never have to worry about remembering what you said.”
In my experience, lies are always eventually exposed. When I learn that someone has lied to me, it destroys any trust I had in that person. Regaining trust after your lies are exposed is extremely hard. Hence another old saying, “honesty is the best policy.”
When Jesus had a really important truth to share, He would preface it with the expression “verily, verily, I say to you…” This means “truly, truly,” but He didn’t just say that to indicate what He was about to say was true because Jesus never lied. Again, this expression indicates that what follows it is an important truth. It was like saying, “Hey! Listen up! Pay attention! Hear me! This is important!”
The Bible also gives us clear warnings about giving an ear to those who would deceive us with their clever and crafty lies. But how can we know if someone is lying? The best way to spot a counterfeit is knowing what the real thing looks like. So… By studying and learning for ourselves what the truth is, we can easily know a lie when we hear it because it contradicts the truth we know.
We should also learn to recognize the very different characteristics of truth and lies. As already stated, truth has no agenda, but lies do. Lies tend to have an ensnaring quality, while the truth is liberating. Indeed, lies will trap you and put you in bondage. You have to create more lies to keep your original lie from being exposed, so you become enslaved by lies. However, truth breaks those bonds. As scripture says, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free!”
Speak truth. Know truth. Live in truth.