“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free”, is one of my favorite passages of Scripture. It is also one, that you often find emblazoned on plaques, calendars, and on the sides of coffee cups.
It is those pithy little sayings that encourage us and remind us of divine promises. The above saying, however, was not originally given along with a cup of Joe. Rather than a broad promise of freedom resulting from a declaration of special insight, the “you shall know the truth” was stated within a conditional context; a context that doesn’t show up on those coffee mugs.
As my family reviewed in our ongoing devotional tour through Claiming Christ, truth has been made evident to mankind, but most can’t see it for what it is.
The truth concept, that we were considering, was actually raised in a passage that identified the difference between a true believer and a false one according to how they handled truth. According to how the Bible discusses it, truth is absolute, but not always easy to fully define. As a result, it takes work on our parts to wrestle with the evidence and struggle with how to best apply it in our circumstances and choices. It is in that personal engagement that our true desire regarding truth is revealed.
Perhaps that is why Jesus stated to those who believed in him, that if they kept his teachings, only then could they be considered truly his disciples and thereafter they would come to know truth that would set them free. Ultimately, Jesus is that Truth, and it is what he did for us that sets us free, but the context demonstrates that it will only apply to a specific person if they willingly uphold what he taught in Scripture.
That is the same issue, albeit on a darker note, that Paul describes regarding those who thought they were following God, but as it turns out they had actually swallowed the lie.
“…those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.” (2 Thes 2:10)
There is something about our choices that is meant to prove our devotion to Jesus—a.k.a. our love of the Truth. Sadly, as this verse teaches, without a deep hunger and pursuit of truth, some will not receive the salvation they had hoped for.
In fact, the Holy Spirit reveals that it is specifically because of this lack of desire to strive for and embrace truth, that results in eternal condemnation. Notice how the above verse continues:
“For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.”
Apparently, those who would rather drink from cups that say, “It’s all good”, or “I’m satisfied with what I have figured out about God”, or “Let’s just get along”, or “truth is all relative”, are at risk of loosing their commitment to that difficult challenge of identifying and grasping truth. With a casual air, and a complacent indifference to things around them that violate the Word of God, confused “Christians” fulfill the old prophecies that say, “Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things…stop confronting us with the Holy One”. And it is little wonder, because dealing with truth is often difficult territory to travel; especially if you actually want to live it.
So the next time you lift your latte’ for a sip from your favorite coffee cup, take a moment to consider. As the heat radiates through you, think beyond the edge of your cup where those pithy little sayings are often located. Chew on the reality that God has spoken into your life.
When you get to the end, if all that happens is a sudden urge to visit the restroom, you may be drinking a lie. However, if each sip, simply stimulates that hunger for more of Him in mind, body, soul, and strength, as well as in how to improve your relationships with others, then raise your glass in a toast to the Truth.
What does the trend look like in your life in how you are increasingly hungering for truth?