On Truth

The following appears as the commentary in the January 28th entry of Consuming Fire

Truth abounds around us. God's fatherly love for us is the greatest truth of all, hence all of His creations testify of His love. As we walk in the woods, stare across a coastline, gaze from a mountain top, or feel the peace of a sunrise, our souls are touched with the truth of His love. All truths work in harmony, pointing to this one great truth: that He Lives and He Loves us. As we find truths and grow in understanding of them, our sureness of God's love is strengthened, and our own capacity to love is increased. As we are created in God's image, we are intended know his truths and love in his image.

Words and intellectual effort can express the fact that we feel something is true, or that we understand and appreciate something of a truth, but words fail us in being able to convince others of that truth. 

George MacDonald described our ability to know truth, and its workings within us this way:

"When the longing heart finds itself able to hope that the perfect is the fact, that the truth is alive, that the lovely is rooted in eternal purpose, it can go on without such proof as belongs to a lower stratum of things, and can not be had in these. When we rise into the mountain air, we require no other testimony than that of our lungs that we are in a healthful atmosphere. We do not find it necessary to submit it to a quantitative analysis; we are content that we breathe with joy, that we grow in strength, become lighter-hearted and better-tempered. Truth is a very different thing from fact; it is the loving contact of the soul with spiritual fact, vital and potent. It does its work in the soul independently of all faculty or qualification there for setting it forth or defending it. Truth in the inward parts is a power, not an opinion."

Similarly, we come to understand some truths thusly:

"It is the nature of the thing, not the clearness of its outline, that determines its operation."

One of our duties is to testify of the truth we have received, in the hope that it will kindle within others the desire to also receive it through the Holy Spirit. When their thirst for the given truth becomes pure and bears the fruit of willingness to obey the truth, God's love swells their souls with sureness.

Jesus taught us that knowledge of truth comes through the doing of God's will, and that it is our duty to discover it. Likewise our duty includes following it henceforth. 

Quoting George MacDonald: "All truth understood becomes duty. To him that obeys well, the truth comes easy; to him who does not obey, it comes not, or comes in forms of fear and dismay. The true, that is the obedient man, cannot help seeing the truth, for it is the very business of his being—the natural concern, the correlate of his soul."

May we all seek truth with honest intent to receive it, regardless of the challenges it may give to what we think we intellectually know. May God's love thereby swell in our hearts, that we may in turn share his love with the world!