“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17, NIV)
This is a two-part post. In this first part, we’ll look at the second half of John 17:17, “your word is truth.”
Your Word is Truth
We live in a culture that is constantly asking, “What is truth? You have your truth, I have my truth. That’s true in your eyes, but something different is true in my eyes. This is how I feel, my feelings are real, and therefore this is what is true to me.” We have lost the concept that truth is an objective correspondence to reality. We have replaced it with the idea that “truth” is my perspective of reality and my feelings about reality.
The implications of this are massive and damning. For one thing, if truth is defined by what we feel or from our perspective, how can we ever be wrong? Who can contradict how I feel? If I am living true to my feelings, how can I be convicted of sin? It is impossible for me to lie because I’m simply telling “my truth.” It’s impossible for me to do anything wrong because I’m simply living out of “my reality.” And if I can’t sin, I can’t acknowledge sin because there’s no sin to acknowledge. And if I can’t confess my sin, I can’t repent because there’s no sin to turn away from. I don’t need Jesus to save me from my sin that doesn’t exist.
Additionally, our popular thinking about truth means there is no solid foundation on which to build our lives–there are only the shifting sands of feelings and perspectives. Remember the children’s song? If our houses are built on the sand, when the rains come down and the floods come up our foolish lives go splat.
Thirdly, often our feelings don’t correspond to reality. We start to believe things about ourselves that aren’t true, even though it’s how we feel at the time. This is very evident with eating disorders. I’m told that people who are anorexic look in the mirror and see an overweight reflection even though they are often dangerously underweight. They feel like they are “fat,” and they believe their feelings rather than reality. But this isn’t just a problem with eating disorders. People believe all kinds of things about themselves that are not true. I’m ugly. I’m stupid. I’m awkward. No one could love me. I’ll never amount to anything. I’m too far gone for God to want me. I have nothing to offer. All my friends on Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram have it together more than me. If I can’t be like _________________ (fill in the blank), I’ll never be accepted. If this is how you feel, your feelings are lying to you!
In John 17:17, Jesus said a single sentence that will change everything we know. In fact, just the second phrase, “your word is truth,” is a paradigm-changing, profound statement that will literally turn your world upside down. Truth is not what we feel. Truth is not what I see from my perspective. Truth is not what popular opinion says it is, or what the majority vote says it should be. Truth is revealed in God’s Word. God is the Author of truth. What He says is not only real but true–regardless of how I feel about it or what I think about it; whether I like it or not.
My prayer for this week is that God will show you something you have been believing that isn’t truth, and that He will help you find the truth that He has spoken over you.