There is a phrase in one of Paul’s letters (II Thessalonians 2:10) that I have always found intriguing. Paul speaks of “those who perish because they refused to love the truth.” Initially this might seem odd, that people would refuse to love what is true.
Philosopher Douglas Groothuis made this observation about the truth:
Truth is a daunting, difficult thing; it is also the greatest thing in the world. Yet we are chronically ambivalent toward it. We seek it…and we fear it. Our better side wants to pursue truth wherever it leads; our darker side balks when the truth begins to lead us anywhere we do not want to go.
What I have learned is that the truth, however painful it might be, is our friend. It leads to our well-being. True wisdom is to discern the truth and then to seek to live in harmony with it.
Several years ago, Dr. George Graham, a doctor at UAB, made this interesting observation:
It takes a tremendous amount of courage to face the truth. People who have the habit of not facing the truth have a habit of having trouble living in every aspect of their lives – in their jobs, in their personal relationships…being centered on the truth is crucial to a healthy, vital, human life.
In his best-selling book, The Road Less Traveled, M. Scott Peck says that it is crucial that we be dedicated to the truth. He puts it this way:
That which is false is unreal. The more clearly we see the reality of the world, the better equipped we are to deal with the world. The less clearly we see the reality of the world, the more our minds are befuddled by falsehood, misperceptions, and illusions – the less able we will be to determine correct courses of action and make wise decisions. Our view of reality is like a map with which to negotiate the terrain of life. If the map is true and accurate, we will generally know where we are, and if we have decided where we want to go, we will generally know how to get there. If the map is false and inaccurate, we generally will be lost.
Peck is saying that when we are committed to the truth, it is like having an accurate map for our lives. This map tells us:
Where we are.
Where we need to go.
How to get there.
On the other hand, if a person does not have the right map, he or she will be lost and will find life to be very difficult and incoherent.
You see the significance of the truth in Jesus’ words to Pilate. In John 18: 37, Jesus says, “I have come into the world to testify to the truth. Everyone who is on the side of the truth listens to me. Pilate then asks Him, “What is the truth?” And then Pilate walks away.
Jesus, we are told in John 1:9, was the true light, and that he came into the world to enlighten every one of us as to what is truth. However, it is clear, that if we do not have a love of the truth, we will not hear His voice.
Therefore, I think it is quite obvious, if we do not have a great love of spiritual truth, we most certainly will never find it.