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Pointers along the way #660

Seeking after the truth

- Jacob Ninan

Not many people seem to be seriously interested in knowing the truth. Most are only looking for ways to enjoy life, and truth is something they want to keep away from. Some, like Pilate, disdain the truth by philosophically shrugging it off. Some like to discuss about the truth, making it look as if they are earnest about it. But they are only trying to satisfy their curiosity, like two people from different churches asking questions about what the other church believes and practises! Paul realised that some people in Athens made it their hobby to discuss novel ideas. But when they heard the truth they just moved on to other 'truths'!

But it is the truth that can set us free (Jn.8:32) from ignorance and the bondage we all are in to greater or lesser degree because of sin (v.34). Jesus, the Truth, is the Saviour who sets us free (v.36), but He sets us free by first letting the light shine over the darkness in our lives (Ac.26:18). It is therefore crucial for us to seek to know the truth more and more in every area of our life.

However, the mere knowledge of the truth will not set anyone free, but only if one follows in his practical life the truth he comes to know. Another way of putting this is to say that faith that does not result in acts of obedience to the truth we believe in is dead (Jas.2:26). But a deeper secret of the spiritual life is that unless we are really and sincerely keen on living according to the truth we get to know, God will not give us the discernment to know what the truth really is. This is implied in Jn.7:17.

This means that we may study the Bible in detail, refer to the meanings in the original languages, read commentaries of great scholars, get degrees in theology and still miss the truth if we are not interested in letting the truth affect the way we live. Early in my spiritual life someone confronted me with a challenge to look at a controversial subject among Christians. He asked me to examine that subject from the Bible with an open mind and with a promise to God that whatever God showed me I would obey! Looking back I see how that became a big milestone in my spiritual path.

We all have so much that is wrong in our lives in what we believe and do, even after becoming children of God. Some of it we are aware of, but a lot of it we are still blind to. The path of sanctification leading towards perfection is travelled by getting to know more about where we are wrong and changing it. It is only when we want to know the truth about where we are wrong and what is right, and we are determined to change our lives when God shows us the truth that God is going to give us discernment concerning the truth (Jn.7:17). Isn't this what Jesus meant by talking about our eye being clear (Lk.11:34)? It represents what we are looking for, our goal, our motive. If this is not clear, no 'light' is going to enter our life, and then we may even be great Bible scholars without any true knowledge of God.


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