Truth is getting harder and harder to distinguish these days. There is so much information out there on the internet, and no matter your perspective, you can find an “expert” to agree with you. I have talked about this, or at least touched on this in several blog posts, but I thought I would revisit the subject on it’s own to express my thoughts, and how I recognize truth in my own life.
Truth exists. It is not created by man. Scientists discover truth as they question, hypothesize, test and try. But science is not the only source of truth, and not the primary source of truth, I have found. As you may be aware through my blog posts, I believe in God. I know that He is the one single source of all truth. So I turn to Him to find that truth. But I have many people ask, how do you recognize it, because He isn’t coming down in person everyday, answering all my questions. So I will share today some ways that I find truth in my own life.
Some truths are easy to recognize because we have experience with them. Gravity is a truth that no one can deny exists. We are all walking around on this planet, not randomly flying off, or moving in abnormal ways because suddenly gravity stops working. Even airplanes and rocket ships have to contend with the pull of gravity, and it’s very apparent when calculations were off, or the safeguards put in place to keep us in the air fail, because gravity still pulls us down to earth. I remember when my kids learned about the word hot, and that things like wood stoves, or pots on a stove can be hot. They also learned to trust that when I said it’s hot, it really was hot. There are a lot of truths that exist like that, that we can all agree are real.
But there are a lot of unseen truths that are harder to identify in life. How do we tell if someone we think we can trust is lying? How do we know if what we are being told by the media about other parts of our country or the world are really real? How do we know that what we are being told isn’t just propaganda for a certain desired outcome? These are hard questions, and there aren’t any easy answers. But there are ways to sift through the things we read, the things we are told, and the things that are happening around us.
One of the first things to do is to look at the source. Do some research. If you don’t want to spend a little time looking into the subject, then you really aren’t seeking truth. So do some research. Look at the person, or the company and look at what they have been doing already. Have they been honest, is their mission virtuous, does it help others? Do they seek the applause of others more than they seek to do what’s right? Do they seek appeasing a certain type of person while pushing others to the side? Businesses do target certain demographics, you have to do that as part of a good marketing strategy. But in doing so, are they kind to all demographics, or are they underhanded in getting ahead or being king of their hill? There is plenty of success to go around, that is something society has forgotten as a whole. We tend to have more of a scarcity mentality, rather than an abundance mentality, but that is a whole other post.
Next, look at the results of what has already been done. Is what they or their company doing helping the situations, does the results match up to what they say they believe in, what their mission is? Or do you find discrepancies between what they say and what they do? Now, having said that, I am not perfect, nor is anyone else, but in the general trajectory of the person’s life or the business, are they trying to go in the direction they say they are going. Sometimes great ideas take us the wrong way and we need to course correct, but the acknowledgement of that course correction and honesty of the person or company also makes a huge difference. Also, what is done to make the course corrections is a good indicator of who they are and what they really believe in.
Look at the fruits of what has been completed. There are a lot of great businesses and people out there doing exactly what they say they will, and helping the people around them. If it’s available, see where the money goes. It’s interesting to research different “charitable” organizations and see how much of the money donated goes to the purpose of the company. I have done quite a bit of research into a variety of the heavily advertised organizations, and some donate a huge amount, even everything raised to the places they say they are going, while some donate less than 10% of everything donated to what it says the money is used for. The other 90% goes to “operating costs” and salaries for the employees. Politically speaking, the politicians actually work for the people, I know, crazy right! Are they doing what the people want, or do they get elected on one platform, and then do whatever they want when they get into office. Look at the fruits.
Lastly, and this one for me, is the most important, look to the giver of all truth. The Lord blessed each of us with the Light of Christ to guide us. Some people call it a conscience, others call it their gut. But when we listen to that light, and we trust it, we will be able to discern truth from error. It’s something we have all felt, and as long as we don’t suppress it by ignoring it all the time, it can be a great guide to help us see correctly. This one should not be last, it should be a part of all our seeking. We need to be honestly seeking as well. That way we can be inspired to find correct sources and feel that they are correct, or feel when things aren’t right.
I don’t believe truth is going to be any easier to come by in the future. But I also know that our loving Heavenly Father didn’t just put us down here and leave us here to grope around in the dark all our lives. He has given us many tools to help find truth, and if we are true to what we find, He will continue to help us find more. I am grateful for the help that He gives me on a daily basis, and know that if you seek with real intent, He will help you too.