The Puritans, the Internet tells me, have the saying,
“The same sun that melts the ice also hardens the clay.”
This is a truth that has shards of gripping and polarising exactness splintered throughout our very lives—many we cannot even see today. Not only is it talking about the unpredictable reactions of the masses to a message of truth—some for it and some against it, some indeed ambivalently between—it’s also graphically about vision. What we see is our truth. And any number of “truths” exist.
But, as you’ve probably worked out by now, the truth is not always the truth.
The day is both blessed and cursed, depending on who you talk to. A person of good reputation is only that to some people; to others they’re a charlatan. It all depends on where they stand on their issues. The more bold and morally courageous a person is, the more they’ll force a dichotomy of impression in all those before them—we cannot seem to help “judge” people, at least instinctively speaking. The truth pushes us to decide for it or not for it. And, again, our truth commands our decision. But does our truth align with the truth? Our truth vacillates according to our mood.
But the sun doesn’t change. And nor should we. We should learn to see truth and engage with it more and more.
“The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.”
~Ecclesiastes 1:5 (NIV).
Biblical truth, whilst it is always revealing to us different shades of truth, never changes. Neither does God. Hebrews 13:8, I was recently reminded, says “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” The truth might seem either new or old, but the fact is it doesn’t change—it’s only our perceptions that change.
The biggest challenge any of us will ever face is how we’ll approach the sensation of truth. Will we see, taste and touch it truthfully? Is it then recognised? And if it is, what will we do with it?
It’s a dedication to the truth that M. Scott Peck lauded as one of the most relevant principles of the wise life—on the road less travelled. In this, the truth cannot harm us—it can only help. But, this doesn’t make it easier. The truth just is.
Where do we sit? The truth beckons a thousand times a day. We see and we respond mostly by instinct. We engage with people and their non-truths, and without some sense of moral courage we’ll give way to small talk, gossip, innuendo, and any number of non-truthful devices of speech; the immeasurable majority of which do not build up.
And this is our test. The truth must be in us. If we believe in Jesus, truth is our witness and testimony. The sun is still the sun. The Son is still the Son. Nothing will ever change regarding these and the truth.
We’re to be conformed to the truth.
Some things will never change. What is our response to truth? Does it melt us or harden us?
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.