Have you ever heard the term “My Truth”? I’ve heard it before, but I heard it again last night while I was channel skipping. I wished I could remember what I was watching when I heard it for contextual reasons, but it’s gone.
Today, I looked it up to see if it was a “thing”. It’s not widely used, but it is a part of our cultures vocabulary. I found an article online and a “definition” on Urbanddictionary.com. Here it is:
- Pretentious substitute for “non-negotiable personal opinion.”
- Often used by academics, this is a convenient phrase for avoiding arguments because people can contradict your opinion but not your “truth.”
- The phrase is often used when seeking to justify a controversial personal stance or action because people are not allowed to argue with “your truth.”
- Example: I’m leaving my husband. He is a really good, faithful guy and all, but I just don’t love him anymore. It was a tough decision, but I have to stand in My Truth!”
When I was three or four, I was convinced that Santa Claus would return on December 26th for a second delivery. My dad tried to explain that Santa only came “once” a year, but I wasn’t having any of that. Apparently, I was pretty adamant about it. It didn’t matter what anyone else said. It was “My Truth”. It was happening!!! I don’t remember my reaction to Santa’s failure to deliver on December 26th, but I’m sure it wasn’t good.
Our culture has become very non-negotiable in recent years especially when it comes to truth, opinion, and beliefs. It seems to be “MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY” for a lot of people. Don’t misunderstand; I’m not saying that I don’t have opinions. I do and a few of them that are “non-negotiable”. I have drawn my lines in the sand. However that does not mean that I won’t hear or discuss other points of view. Heck, I might even learn something every now and then, right? But, just because I say something is true doesn’t make it so. Just like my belief that Santa would return for a second trip down my chimney on Dunwoody Lane, circa 1968-69.
Truth is getting more and more relative. Relativism is the doctrine that knowledge, truth, and morality exist in relation to culture, society, or historical context, and ARE NOT ABSOLUTE. Basically everything is up for grabs, and the interpretation of anything is based on historical context and the perspective or opinion of the observer. I/We are the observers. It’s true if I say it’s true. The growing expectation and problem is that if it’s true for me, then it has to be true for you otherwise we can’t be friends anymore. You’re canceled! You’re a racist! “My Truth” becomes absolute. You either agree with me “absolutely” or we’re done.
“Ouch, this is hurting my brain!”
Absolute truth is something that is true at all times and in all places. It is something that is always true no matter what the circumstances. It is a fact that cannot be changed. For example, there are no round squares. If you live by a “my truth” philosophy squares can be round, and 2+2 can =5. I certainly wish that were true for mathematics. My grades would have been a lot better.
As a Christian, I believe that the Bible is God’s word, and it is absolutely true. For me the evidence of God’s existence is irrefutable. When Paul says in Romans 1:20, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse”, I believe it. What God has made, His creation, is all the evidence I need. However, I have never seen God face to face. I can’t conjure him up or cause Him to materialize at any time or place. I can’t point and say, “there He is”. I have to face the fact that “my truth” of God’s existence is not universally accepted; no matter how much evidence I can produce to back it up.
From the time I got saved until I was probably in my late twenties, it was difficult for me to accept those who didn’t believe, those who didn’t agree with “my truth”. There were times when I would engage in heated arguments with those who disagreed. I was taught to stand up for God and defend the faith. I had to win the debate and conquer the opposition. This was “my turf” and I defended it boldly. My attitude was not very Christ like. I was obnoxious, overbearing, arrogant, and judgmental. It took a while for me to realize that imposing “my truth” on others was not very effective or Biblical.
God didn’t need me to defend him. He didn’t want me to force “my truth”, better yet, “His truth” on others. He called me to “share” or teach His truth with everyone.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:16-20 (NIV)
In this passage, we could interpret or rationalize that in order to “make disciples”; we can do it by force. But the Greek word is mathéteuó means to disciple, help, teach, or train. The King James translation uses the phrase “teach all nations”, instead of “make disciples”.
Ultimately, I am not responsible for the saving, converting, forcing, or turning someone into a follower of Christ. I am only an instrument or servant that God uses to communicate and teach the Gospel. He is the only one who can change a heart. He is the only one who can save.
“What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” 1 Corinthians 3:5-7 (NIV)
God doesn’t push himself on anyone. We were created with a free will and the opportunity to choose our own path. Adam and Eve were given a choice. As it turned out, God’s truth was not enough. They chose another truth. We are free to do the same. Ultimately, I am only responsible for what I believe. I have chosen God’s truth. It doesn’t make me better than anyone else. Whether I like it or not, agree or disagree, I have to respect others for the truth that they have chosen. However, I have been commanded to share God’s truth, His good news with others. I am not responsible for whether they accept it or not. I am responsible for “how” I live out God’s truth and “how” I share it.
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)
As I close this up, I will paraphrase Peter’s statement as it applies to ME. “Hey Robby, continue to show respect and admiration to Christ as Lord by living out His truth in your life; always be ready, be prepared, do your homework, and know God’s truth. You never know when someone may ask you a question about it. But, be nice, gentle, and respectful to those who ask.”
I wish my younger self had paid more attention to this verse.
Director of Family Ministry and Facility Management