Word Count: 1073
Est. Reading Time: 5.3 minutes
“Truth is the ultimate power. When the truth comes around, all the lies have to run and hide.” – Ice Cube
Why Truth Matters
Life functions better with the truth. Relationships whether personal or professional operate effectively with the truth. Truth creates trust. Life loses meaning when the truth is absent. This is what makes truth powerful. While truth can stand alone, lies or deception are a parasite to the truth. Society decays as truth fades. Loss of confidence in news channels and political leaders has further perpetuated the truth war.
Of late, we have seen pictures and read conflicting stories regarding the state of U.S. border facilities. Dirty, cramped facilities and even cages have been the going narrative in the news. But after visits from Vice President Mike Pence and a few prominent pastors, the news channels have been blamed for misinforming the public. This rise of misinformation, called the fourth wave of the trust tsunami by the Edelman Trust Barometer begs the question, “What are we to do?” Surely all of us cannot go to the border and see for ourselves. We are left to believe who we trust the most and hope they are telling us the truth.
The truth war is real because truth is powerful. Truth drives out lies and dispels rumors. Winston Churchill affirmed, “The truth is inconvertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.” Truth is the vantage point by which we see past the fake and get to what’s real. Here are three things that make the truth powerful:
1. Truth is not created, it’s discovered
When truth is created instead of discovered, the risk of falsehood increases. Let’s suppose someone pointed out there was a stain on the collar of your shirt. What is the first thing you would do? You would probably look to see if you can corroborate their observation by your investigation. The whole goal is to discover if what they are saying is true. If the stain is not visible, you would then find a mirror to confirm the stain. If there is one you would finally take action to remove the stain if possible.
You see, truth is always present, waiting to be discovered. It is also actionable. But it can become elusive when we are too hasty to find answers or depend on the wrong sources of information. Truth is sometimes discovered by experimenting. I have a friend who works in a lab and he has recounted the effort and hours it takes in uncovering evidence to supply or support data. From his experience, I have learned that discovering truth is crucial to our quality of life. Truth is not only about what is happening around us, but what is happening in us is vital. Living in the bubble of a false view of ourselves or our surroundings can be detrimental to our decisions and interactions.
What/Who do you have in your life to help you discover the truth about who you are? For me, the Bible is the source of truth. It informs my motives, thoughts, decisions, and actions. It exposes and corrects faults in my life and instructs me in living a wholesome life. I choose the Bible because knowing the truth does set you free.
2. Truth is not confining, it is liberating
More information does not necessarily equate to more truth. In fact, more information makes lies more prevalent. In discovering truth we must carry the bird’s eye view that truth liberates. Have you ever been afraid of finding out the truth that you do your best to avoid it? Even truth about yourself? Truth in itself is a dare and risk but it is worthwhile because the fruits of truth supply freedom to our lives. Lies confine because they exact a toll on the mind. Abraham Lincoln confirmed this when he said, “no man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.”
I must confess that I cannot bend and touch my toes while keeping my legs fully straight. It is often embarrassing to say because it is one of the most basic exercises, yet I cannot complete it, even though I can complete a half marathon. Getting that out of the way is always liberating because eventually it will be found out. By being upfront with the truth, you never have to consider telling a lie that you cannot sustain for long. Always choose the truth. It will set you free. Though costly at times, it is the standard that ultimately wins.
3. Truth is a standard, not a suggestion
In a time when views, opinions, preferences, perspectives, and suggestions are highly regarded, the truth is a standard that must be held on to no matter how suggestive and attractive the aforementioned things are. Dr. Tony Evans once said, “Truth is an objective standard by which reality is measured.” However, in a postmodernist society, most people choose philosopher Protagoras’ view that “objective truth is an illusion.” But this self-serving view only perpetuates the idea that everyone can have their own truth. The result is that what’s accepted and believed as truth can actually be false. Ralph Waldo Emerson observed, “Truth is the property of no individual but is the treasure of all men.”
The power of truth is not in popularity or acceptance, but in how objective it is. Objective truth says the world is round not flat. It confirms that if you throw an apple up it will come down. Objective truth informs us that guns are dangerous. It tells us human trafficking, abuse, and racial discrimination are wrong. It also tells us that we have been created with a purpose to make the world better and serve others with our lives. Without objective truth we descend into chaos and civility is compromised.
Final thought: Truth, not man is the measure of all things. Knowing this helps maintain a standard by which we understand the world around and within us. Truth is liberating because it gives us the correct vantage point by which we live our lives and pursue our purpose. It eliminates gray areas, also known as paltering, by providing clarity. I end with these stimulating words from bestselling author Sean McDowell, “We must discover the truth, live by the truth, and help people around us see its importance. The truth is worth it. In reality, we all know this.”
Keep on Keeping on!