Without God the truth is shifting and ever-elusive — Vivienne Solomons

My truth. Your truth. The truth. However, we may choose to describe it, truth is a universal topic that we all instinctively seek out in an effort to understand not only the world around us but also the world within us – ourselves. But personal truth is not necessarily or always the same as the Truth. 

While historically, truth has been understood to mean a verifiable or indisputable objective fact, in recent years, Truth as we know it has become more personalised, taking on a more subjective meaning rather than a purely objective one. Whether celebrity or politician, prince or pauper, it may be argued that we are all becoming conditioned to view truth as personal rather than objective and therefore not subject to independent verification. 

The challenge is that when the truth becomes personalised, it holds little to no authority in the greater community or public square as it is open to interpretation, limited only by our many and varied perspectives, opinions, and experiences. 

Yet the truth is not meant to be confusing or elusive. It is supposed to bring certainty and even freedom in an everchanging world, where the goal posts keep shifting according to what we feel to be the truth, rather than what is objective truth.

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Belt of truth (IMAGE: Ferrell Jenkins)

That is not to say that we should disregard or dismiss what many refer to as “my truth” or “your truth”. Our perspectives, opinions and experiences are true to us and therefore valid but for whatever reason, they may not necessarily be objectively true and therefore cannot pass for truth as we have previously understood it. 

It will come as no surprise to find that there are many references to truth in the Word of God. Depending on which translation is used, it is mentioned between 137 and 270 times. Clearly, truth is a matter of great importance to God and by implication, to us as believers as well.

In Ephesians 6: 10-17 we read about the full armour of God, which is God’s gift to us as believers, and which we are encouraged to put on daily so that we may prepare ourselves for whatever the day may bring. These are the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the Gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit.

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Interestingly, we are encouraged to first put on the belt of truth, which is that part of the armour that is attached to the core or centre of our bodies. It is a crucial piece of defensive armour, which guards our innermost being. This is because without the truth we are lost and subject to every wind of doctrine, every human cunning and craftiness in deceitful schemes (Ephesians 4:14). 

The belt of truth also holds the sword of the Spirit, thereby linking the truth to the Word of God, which Jesus Himself said was true (John 17:17).

In this world, it is important for us to differentiate the truth not only from lies but also from the many perspectives, opinions, and experiences of others that we encounter daily. This is not a skill that we can learn but knowledge and insight that we gain when we read the Word of Truth regularly (John 8:32).

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