Truth has many uses that denote various meanings. Some say truth is relevant according to the situation. However, one of the greatest logical thinkers of all time, Plato, who, correct me if I’m wrong, wasn’t a Christian and yet, he understood TRUTH in its purest form.
“Truth is not relative, or any belief would be as valid as a contradictory belief.” — Plato
Business at Your Best is a blog devotional series that gives us an opportunity to examine our business practices against God's wisdom and guidance.
TODAY we’re taking a look at the Truth in regards to our business. Let’s begin with a working definition.
What is the Truth?
- Sincerity in action, character, and utterance
- The state of being the case; fact
- The body of real things, events, and facts; actuality
- A transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality
- The property (as of a statement) of being in accord with fact or reality
- Fidelity to an original or a standard
Truth is God
“Jesus said, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, You would have known my Father also. From now on you know him and have seen him” (John 14:6–7).
Jesus is truth. God is truth. God made us in his image. Therefore, we are called to live in the truth. We know that telling the truth is always the right thing to do but sometimes fiction is easier to share or it seems like it's more beneficial at the moment. As a result, fact and fiction get muddled. Here’s a parable that shows us how that might happen.
The Story of Truth and Parable
Once upon a time, Truth went about the streets as naked as the day he was born. As a result, no one would let him into their homes. Whenever people caught sight of him, they turned away and fled.
One day when Truth was sadly wandering about, he came upon Parable.
Now, Parable was dressed in splendid clothes of beautiful colors. And Parable, seeing Truth, said, "Tell me, neighbor, what makes you look so sad?" Truth replied bitterly, "Ah brother, things are bad. Very bad. I'm old, very old, and no one wants to acknowledge me. No one wants anything to do with me."
Hearing that, Parable said, "People don't run away from you because you're old, I too am old. Very old. But the older I get, the better people like me. I'll tell you a secret: Everyone likes things disguised and prettied up a bit. Let me lend you some splendid clothes like mine, and you'll see that the very people who pushed you aside will invite you into their homes and be glad of your company."
Truth took Parable's advice and put on the borrowed clothes. And from that time on, Truth and Parable have gone hand in hand. — Yiddish Folktales, Pantheon Books, New York
How can we sort out fact from fiction?
The obvious answer is read God's word and do what he says. It isn't always that clear because our hearts get in the way. Let me introduce you to a friend of mine, Grace Lot. Grace has been kind enough to share her story about fact vs. fiction and how the internal tension affects her.
Grace, admits that telling the truth isn’t always easy even when she knows she should. She said, "I am most often tempted to hide or twist the truth when I fear losing something important to me. My thoughts sound like this..."
- If you see the real me, then I might get rejected.
- Revealing my finances to the bank might prevent me from getting the loan I need to expand my business.
- If a social media follower discovers my past, then she might spread the truth about me and destroy the business I’ve worked so hard to build.
The tempting voice in your mind may sound different from Grace’s, but we’ve all felt the urge to avoid the truth at some time or another. In my life, I am usually wrestling with a foundational dilemma — can I live my life under God’s rule or should I work out my life the way I want?
What's the most important step in choosing fact over fiction?
I asked Grace how she works through her temptations. She said, "I have to go back to God’s word, usually spend time repenting but most of all, I have to set my mind on believing what God tells me more than what my inner desires want."
The mot important step if we are to keep truth in control of our businesses is to believe God when he says:
- We remain accepted by Him when we're rejected for who we are.
- God has something better in mind for us if our business can’t expand at the moment.
- He will show us something good about himself through the process if we lose followers because our past has been brought to the present.
The fall flipped every good thing God had made upside down, which included the need to understand the importance of truth in our lives."
Thankfully, God gave us his word as part of his redemptive plan to flip right side up all the wrongs from the fall.
"O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill? He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart; who does not slander with his tongue and does no evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend; in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but who honors those who fear the Lord; who swears to his own hurt and does not change; who does not put out his money at interest and does not take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved.” — Psalm 15
Telling the truth, living the truth makes us strong.
How can we apply God's view of the truth to our businesses?
- Determine to listen and believe God.
- Meditate on his word and ask for his Spirit to guide us.
- Reflect on our businesses in light of God' word.
Let's spend a few moments with the Lord and open our hearts to the Spirit’s guidance about our businesses in light of his Truth.
- "These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace; do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath, for all these things I hate, declares the Lord.” — Zachariah 8:16-17
- "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." — Philippians 4:8
- "The crown of the wise is their wealth, but the folly of fools brings folly. A truthful witness saves lives, but one who breathes out lies is deceitful. In fear of the Lord, one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.” —Proverbs 14:24-26
Dear Honest Father,
Please show me where my heart and mind are afraid to line up with your truth. Create in me a clean heart that will honor you under all kinds of circumstances. When I feel the threat of losing something dear to me, help me remember I will stand firm if I do what is right, speak the truth in my heart and do not slander with my tongue.
Your daughter in Christ
- What is truth?
- What kind of situation makes it easier for you to twist the truth?
- How does the hiding the truth affect our businesses?
- What fruit can we expect when we choose the truth in our businesses?
The next time we’re together, we’ll take a look at wisdom and consider how it affects our businesses.
Truth by grace,