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And That’s the Truth

What is?

That was my answer. And it was my answer every time.

I don’t know where the kids’ fascination with the concept originated. A story read to them? Sunday School? Discussions about lying? Who knows. I just know that at some point they asked the question, “Daddy, what is truth?” My response was “Truth is what is.” They thought this was so amusing that it became a ritual. Any time they had friends over, they’d drag ’em to me and say “Daddy, tell Billy what truth is.” And they wouldn’t stop until I’d say “The truth is what is.” Then they’d run off howling. Yeah, I’ve got weird kids.

At first glance, you’d think that everyone was as interested in truth as my kids were. I mean, juries want you to testify and tell the truth. It’s important enough that you have to swear to do so. More than 15 countries have instituted truth commissions of one kind or another to get to the bottom of some issue haunting their past. One of Malcolm X’s exhibits is title “A Search for Truth.”

I’ve found, however, that sometimes, we’re not that interested in the straight up truth, because it can be hard to swallow. My sister-in-law is wanting truth to go far away right now. It’s not because she’s a bad person. She just wants to suppress the truth because she’s in pain. My brother-in-law’s been battling cancer, and the doctors are now saying that even though it’s in remission right now, it’s still there and will take him within 5 years. She doesn’t want “what is.” She wants something else.

Sometimes, even when you want to deal with the truth, it seems beyond your grasp. Ask someone addicted to drugs or alcohol or sex or whatever. They know it’s killing them, destroying them. But suppressing the truth persuades you to do it again, expecting somehow that it’ll turn out alright this time.

And then there’s me. The Bible tells me straight up in the early part of the book of Romans that when I decide to do my own thing or believe something that God doesn’t believe, that I am suppressing truth. Oh, sure, I’m not gonna call it that, but I want what I want even though God tells me it’s bad for me. But I suppress that, choosing to believe a lie–that somehow my good will result from it–to justify my own selfishness. The Bible even goes so far as to say that I can be so blinded by my selfishness that I can’t even think straight. I know this is true. I’ve done it more times than I care to remember. I can con myself so well that I forget I’m conning myself and believe this thing I know is bad for me is actually good for me.

The Bible makes a pretty bold claim. Not only does Jesus have the skinny on some truth. It goes beyond that to say that Jesus actually is truth. Jesus Himself says that. And if that’s true, then if I really want to know the truth about what will bring me happiness, or the truth on how to find meaning for my life, or the truth about what I’m doing that’s working for my good or ill, or the truth about how to understand my own heart and my own desires, or the truth about how to make sense of the stuff that just seems to happen all around me, then I’d better get to know Jesus. Not know about Him. Not memorize facts about what He did, where He went, what He said. Really know Him.

Realizing this has made me zero in more on walking and talking to Him like the real person He is, rather that studying about Him like He’s some great work of art or something. And it’s made all the difference.

Reflecting back, truth really is “what is.” But what really is, is Jesus.

No lie.

Dwaine Darrah, McLean Campus Pastor


2 Responses to “And That’s the Truth”

  1. Dwaine – This IS great stuff. You continue to be an inspiration, even 600 miles away!

    Keep up the great work!

    Andrew (in Ottawa)
    formely cdn_in_va

  2. andrew and everyone up there in canadaland. awesome to hear from you. was just sharing the story of our lifegroup with staff yesterday as a great new life story!! some awful fine memories!!

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