Truth Is Not Personal

Article by: Karin Sicoli 

     Have you ever been nervous or scared to speak up when it counted?  If we’re honest, we’ve all found ourselves silent on occasions where we could have made a difference, but chose not to.  Romans 1:16a should be a powerful encouragement: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.”

      When it comes to matters of objective truth, like the Gospel, this world has effectively encouraged an ecumenical faith that embraces “all truths” as equal.  Our culture virtually prickles at the thought of objective, absolute truth, particularly when it comes to a person’s faith.   

      Sadly, this mindset is widespread and I’ve found myself dancing around the truth so not to offend.  Without intending to, I’m actually muddying the contrast between right and wrong, the honest truth and a sly lie.  True unity and peace only come from understanding and believing the truth.  We shouldn’t forget that the truth comes from God; it’s not “our truth.” We didn’t find it or invent it.  Truth has always been found outside of us in the pages of Scripture.       

     It’s powerful when we fully embrace the truth and are blessed with peace and unity with the body of Christ.  The Gospel message gives hope that our eternal salvation depends not on our good works or religious tradition but on the perfect work of Jesus.  We should be confident when we talk about this because our authority is the divine Word of God.  We must overcome the natural temptation to make our Christian faith about us and our opinions.  It’s also important to be reminded that the Holy Spirit has to work in the hearts of the hearer before he can change.  We should be faithful to proclaim the truth but we aren’t the ones responsible for changing hearts.

     Thankfully most of us living in America haven’t had to worry about persecution like our brothers and sisters do in China, Russia and many of the Arab countries, to name a few.  Our Christian life is one of relative comfort and ease, especially if we stay tucked inside our safe-zones.  However, we are warned that if we live faithfully according to the Bible, it won’t be long until we aren’t invited or welcome in certain social circles, as we’re reminded in 2 Timothy 3:12 “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”  Maybe we won’t be arrested or sent to jail but we will suffer rejection.  Jesus himself promised us that a servant is not greater than his master in John 15:20. 

      There’s a current trend to “find your path” or to “embrace your journey.”  As a Christian mom of three young sons, my husband and I teach our boys the truth and principles from the Bible, as we’re called to do.  Recently, I was having a friendly discussion with some other moms about how we each approach teaching our faith to our kids and they all seemed to agree on the answer.  They said that they don’t like to tell Johnny what to believe or where to look, they expose him to a little bit of everything and their hope is that he’ll pick what’s right for him down the line.  What a sad, vague path to a personal truth that ultimately can’t save.  Parents are hoping their kids will find some kind of subjective truth that they’ll feel comfortable enough to live with.  Whatever they find, mixed with some sincerity, is good enough.  It’s silly, if it weren’t so sad.  It’s as though discovering the truth is not unlike visiting Baskin-Robbins and picking out a favorite flavor from the 31 offered!  Sadly, the “whatever tastes good to you” method isn’t enough when it comes to finding the real truth.  

     The underlying, subtle lie is this: you can choose to believe what you want and if you’re sincere and behave in an acceptable way in society you’re set.  This is the type of faith that Jesus warned about in Matthew 7: 13-14, "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.  For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”      

     We send our kids to school to learn facts.  We don’t expect the teachers to explain away physical laws and mathematical or grammar rules in favor of how the child feels about those principles.  We all acknowledge that scientific and math realities are true and aren’t up for discussion; there is no room for personal feelings about these facts!  We expect our kids to come out knowing objective facts.  So why does the world feel it ok to pick “your truth” according to personal feelings?  

     "True religion" has to be anchored in truth.  In our vain attempts to offend no one we have failed to love them.  Jesus made people uncomfortable; he made the local religious people very uncomfortable.  It’s not easy to stand up and be different when you’re in a group that doesn’t hold to or even know or care about Bible truth.  We are reminded what 1 Corinthians 1:18 says: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”  But if the truth is worth believing then it’s worth defending and it’s worth sharing!  Many of our conversations would be so much easier if we knew our Bible better.  I love the truth and I love hearing the truth, but if my mind can’t recall the many promises and if my lips never share the truth with others, then who am I helping, who am I loving?       

      Once you are identified as a Christian, and not just “a good neighbor” then there’s a target on your back.  Once you hold to the objective truth that originates from the Bible, there’s an even bigger target on your back.  1 Peter 3:15 reminds us of our high calling: “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.”  Friends, we need to be encouraged to share the hope that is in us so that others might be saved.