The Crisis of Truth ~ 4 Benefits of Truth

Note: This is the third article in a three-part series about living in a post-truth culture, a series that has come out of a number of discussions, teachings, and writings that have occurred lately on the very issue. Part three is a basic analysis of why truth is important. If you would like to read part one, an annotation of the crisis, click here and to read part two, 4 problems with the truth, click here.

Resist conformity at all costs. That seems to be the melody being vocalized by our society. Interestingly, by joining the call to resist conformity, they are conforming. That duplicity though is for another discussion. For right now, the call to resist conformity at all costs comes with a serious consequence in which truth is sacrificed on the altar of personal sovereignty.

Amid that sacrifice, the results are being mediated out through our society. Recognizing the dangerous position that this places our culture in, there have been more recent calls to return to the truth (see The New York Times advertisements in part one, or consider actions like that of Facebook who is implementing systems to ‘safeguard’ the ‘truth’). However, those calls often remain unobserved because there is such a strong resistance to the truth. This is because the truth is confrontational, the truth is hard, the truth hurts, and the truth requires action. Denying the truth may provide the appearance of societal progress, in reality, it becomes a societal digress. Therefore, there are four important advantages to be investigated and examined.

The Truth is Confrontational
The truth confronts notions, ideologies, and mindsets of every person. Therefore it confronts behavior and belief. However, being confronted with our behavior and belief are essential aspects of a healthy society because it forces people to acknowledge and assess who they are and what they do. Such an honest evaluation can create both personal growth and societal growth. Confrontation doesn’t have to be combative. When characterized by consideration and compassion, truth that is confrontational can incite genuine transformation.

The Truth is Hard
There is no doubt that the truth is hard because it is personal. It confronts what we believe and who we are. However, the very fact that the truth is hard makes it worthwhile. The status of the society in which we live is one of difficulty and hardness because of the impact of sin. The fact that truth is hard simply forces people to face reality and acknowledge that we live in a fallen world.

The Truth Hurts
Acknowledging the existence of sin, in ourselves or in others, hurts. Yet, when the truth reveals sin, whether it be personal sin or the impact and hurt that comes from others’ sin, there is a great opportunity for community. This is when believers should thrive because it brings forth a moment in which believers can demonstrate their love for God and love for others. It’s an opportunity to carry the burdens of one another and walk alongside them for their good and God’s glory.

The Truth Requires Action
Finally, many people seek to avoid the truth because it requires them to do something. While certainly that is true, and usually the action is not something simple, but requires effort and energy, that action serves a purpose: to perfect a person (cf. James 1:2-12). When confronted by truth, it requires that we adjust and be transformed. However, it is much easier to be complacent than to move forward in conviction and transformation. Yet, without action, the truth is both meaningless and useless and the growth that truth has the power to incite.

Unfortunately, the very benefits of truth are the ones that the world has labeled as ‘problems.’ It is not popular to be confronted by something that is difficult and requires us to change. Instead, the notion is that everyone is right based on their perspective and it simply needs to be accepted.

However, many ideas are conflicting and cannot coexist, which means there must be the existence of absolute truth somewhere. For believers, there can be no doubt that absolute truth exists in the Word, both the written Word and the incarnate Word as it is most readily declared and proven throughout Scripture and reality.
Understanding who and what truth is, we are then entrusted with a task of a serious charge: to guard the truth. To the guard the truth does not mean we hoard the truth for ourselves, but that we provide protection by imparting it to others and defending it when it is assaulted. It also means that we are heavily steeped in truth ourselves.
While a crisis of truth continues to infiltrate our society, there are plenty of opportunities to counteract that crisis. Furthermore, with a more recent focus on the need to truth, perhaps now exists an appropriate time to bring attention the existence of an absolute truth. Therefore, as believers, we have an agenda to proclaim truth . . . this priority was set for us at the Great Commission.

Photo “new york times” courtesy of user samchills and Flickr.