Why Truth Still Matters - and How it's Discerned
What is truth? Some might say that it’s a universally accepted conclusion. Others might say that truth differs from person to person — that reality is based solely on what you internally think or believe. Therein lies a significant problem. If my truth is my truth and your truth is yours, then there cannot be an absolute, foundational truth.
As a believer, it can be tempting to buy into the world’s explanation of truth, that it’s subjective and there is nothing foundational to it — almost as if it doesn’t matter. But God’s Word says the opposite:
Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6
Here Jesus calls Himself the truth. And while He is, indeed, He also mentions something very important about truth in John 17:17, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” Meaning, God’s Word is the truth by which we live by and which we are sanctified — or made holy.
If you’re like me, you may wonder why does knowing God’s truth matter? And how do we apply and discern that truth to our lives? We find the answer by studying Scripture. When we spend regular time in the Word of God, we see who God is and who we are in light of His holiness. He is unchanging, majestic, wise, truthful, loving, gracious, and good. But He’s also a God of judgment and wrath who is jealous for those He loves.
When I need to make decisions in my life, I often turn to the Bible for answers. I’ll make coffee, read through Scripture and my devotional, and then pray to God. Check — all done! Maybe you can relate?
At first, I thought that checking boxes of “holiness” would lead me to truth and transformation. But it’s important to note that a true inner transformation of the heart doesn’t come from making a to-do list with God. No, what He wants is a relationship with us. It’s through this relationship that the Holy Spirit reaches down into the depths of our souls, shows us the truth, and transforms our hearts to be more like Christ [1 John 1:1–9].
It wasn’t until I spent time in solitude to meditate on God’s Word, I learned more about who He is. As I learned more about who God is, I felt the Holy Spirit also showed me the truth about myself. God tells us that the truth will set us free (John 8:32).
Dallas Willard states, “He saves us by realistic restoration of our hearts to God and then by dwelling there with His Father through the distinctively divine Spirit. All human beings can now live the life of the renovated heart by nourishing ourselves constantly on His personal presence.”*
When God dwells within us through His Spirit, we can receive truth when we engage with His Word. So, why is studying God’s word transformative to our hearts? Because, deep in our souls, we undergo a radical change from the inside out!
As Christians, we don’t live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from God (Matt 4:4). The truth of His Word guides us (Ps 119:105) and shows us our sins. As we fill our hearts with Scripture, we see where we have fallen short (Rom 8:28). The more we study, the more the Holy Spirit will transform our hearts to become like Christ and cleanse us of sin.
Scripture shows us who God created us to be. When we surrender our hearts to the Lord, He gives us a new identity (2 Corinthians 5:17). And if we want to continue to know the truth of who God is and who we are in Him, we must continue to be in His Word — which in turn allows us to communicate the truth with others.
When I relinquished my “check-the-box” system with God and instead created intentional space with Jesus, the Spirit revealed His truth to me. God slowly changed my heart to be more like His — teaching me to cast my anxieties on Him because He loves and cares for me (I Pet 5:7) and showing me how to truly love those around me. His Word teaches and corrects me (I Tim 3:16) daily and sheds light on difficult situations and how to navigate moral issues. This is why knowing the truth matters!
My prayer is that we will all be people who continue to seek God’s truth and let it transform our lives.