Thinking True: Whatever Series Part One

Thinking True: Whatever Series Part One January 3, 2024

True Thinking Image by Thomas G. from Pixabay

What is truth? Well, to put it in 1980’s movie jargon, just the facts, man. Webster says it is a descriptive word to indicate the subject is in accordance with fact or reality. To some, truth is simply what you make it. And to others, truth is only true when it is verifiable in the physical world. Those who seek to understand the physical and spiritual world are often seen at odds with each other. But this year, I am spending the month of January meditating and trying to live out Paul’s challenge in Philippians 4:8. Paul challenges his readers to think about things reflected in 8 adjectives. The first up in the list is to think about whatever is true.


Losing our grasp on what is true is an age-old problem. It is the very first ever problem. Eve was asked by the serpent in the garden, what did God say? And do you believe what He has said is true? There is a quality to truth; that truth is truth whether you believe it or not. Humans struggle because our knowledge is limited. We can only know what is true by repeatedly testing for and confirming results. That is how science determines the difference between fact and theory. The serpent wondered if what God said was true. The only way humans knew was to test. God asks humans to trust, and our response is to test. Show me the proof. I want to see it before I can believe it. Show me a sign. Answer my prayer in this very exact manner, so I know that you are real.

One of the roles of my previous jobs was to help facilitate an adventure challenge course. Some people know this as a high ropes course. I know it is one of my worst nightmares. I hate heights. But I helped run the course. I knew all the facts and data about the safety equipment. I knew I could trust it, but it still didn’t help me have any less fear. Fear is often irrational. More facts won’t fix my fear. I need something I trust that won’t let me down. You see, I have a double fear. First, of heights and falling from those heights. Second, even if I didn’t immediately fall to my death, I could never get myself back up on the course from the fall. I would pretty much be helpless until someone rescued me.

We Would Rather Help Ourselves

Grown adults generally spend most of their time avoiding being helpless. We get a taste of independence when we get a driver’s license, and most of us never look back. Dependence makes us weak. We need control. That need for control is at the root of most of our poor choices and a lot of sin. God asks for trust and faith. We demand proof and guarantee. And we willingly stretch the truth and bend reality to maintain that control. But there is another way.

Jesus understands the human struggle. He lived it. He was fully a man. So it is with that understanding in mind He declares that He is the truth, which is to say His teaching. But not just His teaching but the life that He lived. The truth He believed. All of it is now available to anyone who would be His follower. The supernatural reality is that those who believe in His truth start a work in your soul that He is good and faithful to complete. Jesus is God, God is creator, and you are His creation. Your belief, faith, and trust are the vehicles through which God’s work is carried out.

I worked at the ropes course and helped thousands conquer their fear of heights. I never did. But there is a pretty amazing truth about fear and love in Scripture. John tells us that perfect love drives out fear. And that perfect love is found in a relationship with the Triune God. Humanity often tries to approach truth as a puzzle or system to figure out. If we can get the right facts in the right place, we can prove whatever we are trying to prove. The issue with that approach to God is that He is not a system but a person. God’s love drives out fear because I trust the relationship – something a lifeless challenge course could never offer.

True Thinking

So, back to Paul’s original command. Think about whatever is true. If you have stuck with me this far, then you are likely somewhat willing, at the least, to consider the Bible to be true. The Bible tells us that God loves us. You could probably spend all day thinking and pondering what that means. The all-powerful, uncreated creator loves you. Just as you are, that is true. When you accept that, how does it change our thoughts about you? About your life? How can that help you face the trials and find even more celebration in the joys?

Would you join me in a challenge over the next week? Take a few minutes every hour to think about God’s love for you. How should you respond to that love in your life? How can you express your love back to God? Paul understands that what you think about will shape your actions. Your thoughts will shape your heart and help you find emotional stability. Meditate on this truth: God loves you. You are precious in His sight. He loves you so much that He sent His only son to repair the broken relationship with humanity. Spend the time you might have spent doom scrolling or getting that hit of anxiety over the latest headline, thinking about these ultimate truths.



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