Whether we recognize it or not, every single human being on earth is seeking what is true. We want to know what can be relied upon—what we can trust. This gives us not only the ability to better navigate this complex and challenging life, but it gives us a profound sense of security and safety as we wrestle with ambiguity, challenges, and adversity.
“Truth” isn’t relative, nor is it subjective. It is objective and factual, whether we like it or not.
So then, the question is... “How do we find out what is true?”
The first step to finding the truth is to be open to God and to seek who He is.
The important part here is seeking who He is, not simply seeking what you think He should be.
One night, years ago, my dad was lying awake, worrying about where he was going to spend eternity when he died. He asked, "God, will you please send me someone who will show me the truth?”
There are so many competing opinions out there in the world about the afterlife, eternity, and spirituality, but the truth is that God wants everyone to know Him and live eternally with Him.
God rewards those who diligently seek him.
Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV) But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
The next step to understanding truth is to have faith in God, specifically in Jesus Christ and His promise of eternal life.
Think of an image of a stack of dominos. You knock the first one over, then the rest fall in a mesmerizing cascade. Except in this case, in believing in Jesus Christ for everlasting life, you can think of this image of dominos in the reverse. One domino is propped back up and the rest pop up to stand in that similar cascade.
Years later, my dad met someone who showed and explained to him the verse that made this truth “click.” At that moment, he believed—he was convinced of and persuaded of the truth.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV, emphasis added) For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
The lightbulb went on in his mind and he realized for the first time that eternal life could not be earned or maintained. Eternal life is given to all who believe in Jesus’s promise of everlasting life, and it cannot be earned nor maintained.
That’s why it is called everlasting life.
That’s why it is called a gift.
That night, my dad found the truth. He found Jesus.
John 14:6 (NKJV) Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Once we come to believe the truth of Jesus as the only way to have everlasting life, we become His children and are indwelled with the Holy Spirit. We receive God’s wisdom and the ability to continue to discern what is true.
But what are some of the things that block us from finding the truth?
Not going to the Bible for answers...
Our pride in our own abilities...
Our unwillingness to be open to the truth—in other words, our close-mindedness.
Have you ever found yourself looking to culture, professors, or friends for answers? Or blindly trusting people instead of looking into it for yourself? I certainly have. But instead, God wants us to search the Scriptures and get to know Him on a personal level.
Have you ever felt yourself put up walls when someone offends you or tells you something that goes against your beliefs? I have, and I still do sometimes. I used to be unaware of it, but now I can feel myself tense up, feel myself amping up and getting ready for a fight. As I have grown in my faith, I have had to learn to recognize when those defensive walls are rising and trying to keep others and their views out.
But when we don’t feel the need to defend ourselves with the truth because the truth speaks for itself, we don’t need to have such a heated reaction. I admire those who are calm, cool, and collected when they are in debates or conversations that conflict with their beliefs.
How do we combat pride and close-mindedness in order to be truth seekers? This leads us to the next step which is to ask God to soften your heart and open your mind to His truth.
James 3:17 (NKJV) But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. James 4:8 (NKJV) Draw near to God and He will draw near to you….
Notice that James wrote that God’s wisdom includes a willingness to yield when needed. The closer I draw to the Lord, the more peace and flexibility I find with other perspectives whether it is biblical concepts or my view about different things in life. I have found myself wrong on various topics of the Bible. Discussions have made me rethink what I have believed and go to the Bible for direction and truth instead of what someone told me or what the Church generally teaches people.
If we pray for God’s wisdom, God will give it to us.
James 1:5 (NKJV) If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
God is gracious and loves a humble and softened heart.
James 4: 6 (NKJV) But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
It’s easy to stick to our own ways of doing things. We tend to have security with routine and our long-held beliefs. However, the more closed off we are, the less open we are to the truth, to the Holy Spirit’s leading, and to be the living and compassionate people we were created to be.
Let’s pray that God helps us become moldable, with softened hearts, ready to receive truth and ready to serve Him and others!