I know it may seem strange to some, but each year I focus on a word and meditate on it the next twelve months. That said, I’ve been stuck on the word truth for two years now. It is so elusive and that’s weird because it shouldn’t be. But each person has a different filter and they process things through that filter which may not be like someone else’s and then the arguments begin.
I’m reading a book by Subodh K Pandit titled CROSS EXAMINATION The Evidence for Belief, and while he is writing about God, I’m also learning how to go about discerning. There are so many groups who think they have the corner on truth. Whether it be politics, human and animal rights, the food we eat, health, or religion. Folks beat their chests, their Bibles, or each other, trying to force their point. And all the while they only succeed in inflating themselves and the situation.
A statement Pandit made in his book is the perfect observation to what is happening today. He wrote, “I’ve also come across a peculiar notion which holds that if we are strongly convinced about something, our enthusiasm and passion should be accepted as sufficient evidence of its own validity. An impartial inquiry is not required and honesty can be put aside so long as we are defending what we feel honor-bound to defend.
Wow, I see a lot of that lately. But yelling at television cameras, posting on Facebook, and attending activist meetings whether it be in a city hall, the town square, on a street corner, in a meeting, over lunch or even in a church, does not necessarily mean what we are pounding the table about is true. And that is sad, because this kind of behavior is what divides us. It isn’t done in a humble, honest, respectful way. Instead of pointing a virtual finger in my chest telling me I’m wrong, it is better to have an honest dialogue and be willing to examine all sides.
Jesus advised us to set our minds on what is truth. Not what our emotions tell us is truth, not what activists or alarmist tell us what is truth, not what we read on the Internet.
So how do we come to the truth? It is a process of patience, humility, examination of evidence, and a calm mind. Perhaps that is why it has been my word for two years. I’ve had to work through my own emotion, activism, and alarmist tendencies.
And I think I’ll probably be focusing on this word another year . . . at least.