Humans have a complicated relationship with truth. It is the thing we are most searching for. The lifeblood of our thoughts and actions. And we all think we have a pretty good grasp of it.
Discovering truth is more complicated than we think. Often, truth is a developed pattern, a simple reinforcement of what we have been conditioned to know as right and good. Our perceptions limit us. They are the boundaries with which we view the world.
Truth is a sacred cow within our hearts and souls. We guide it with all the force we have in us. Our understanding of truth is the core of who we are. All defenses surround it.
The Space Between
None of this is inherently bad. The issue is that truth usually lies in the space between my perception and the perception of others. Of course there are some things you are absolutely right about. But those things are few. And there are also some things you are absolutely wrong about.
Deeper truth is discovered in the spaces between us. This is why community is so important and so popular among us humans. There is a magic in the space between.
Last week I was in my Bible Study group and I was passionately defending my idea of truth. I was talking about the value of our church being involved overseas. I gave a longwinded speech about how we are called to serve the nations. I believe(d) it with my whole heart.
But then, one of the women in the group started to speak. She talked about how missionaries often do harm to foreign cultures. She talked about a book she read that warned how missionaries from the West can sometimes develop dependent churches and ministries in their wake.
I was floored. Something I thought was so easy a minute before was suddenly more complicated. This is how truth works. It is almost always more complicated than we give it credit for.
So who was right, me or her? The answer is that both of us are right, because truth is best found between my perspective and the perspective of others.
How to Find Truth
Therefore, if you want more truth for your life, you need to surround yourself with other perceptions. You need to ask the people around you for feedback on your behavior and ask them for their thoughts and opinions regarding the things that you think and see.
None of us has a grip on truth that is as firm as we think it is. But the pursuit of truth is nonetheless essential for healthy relationships. Too often, we dig in our heels rather than allowing the people and perceptions around us to refine our understanding of truth.