You Can’t Handle the Truth!

Echoing from the movie courtroom this bold assertion, “You can’t handle the truth” resonates beyond that stirring scene.  Between accusations going viral on social media and salacious reports many years old about those we have admired how does one even determine what is true. Add to the confusion that Satan is the "Father of Lies."  In today’s generation, doubt exists that such a thing is possible. So where can “true truth” be found?   

Leaders and media filter information and between edits and photo-shop, determining fact and accuracy becomes increasingly difficult.  Often that filter conforms to the assertion above that “we” can’t handle the truth. Dictionary.com offers this definition of truth: “conformity with fact or reality.” 

Daily we are assaulted with data making truth claims. How can we sort through the shouting and noise and discover reliable data to trust?  Does it even matter? Are you, as I am, tempted to shut my eyes and ears and ignore the noise, and distract myself with superficial things?  

While certainly walking this planet in a different culture, Jesus lived always in reality, without illusions.  He held no illusions and walked in reality as John records, “ But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people.   He did not need anyone to testify about man, for he knew what was in man.” (John 2:24-25)  Jesus also made “truth claims” that shocked His hearers with His bold assertion, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) 

As Christ followers we have an advantage over the world, Jesus promised the Spirit to be our guide. “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.   For he will not speak on his own authority, but will speak whatever he hears, and will tell you what is to come.” (John 16:13)  The same Spirit that led the apostles to pen the scriptures is available to us as we seek to find truth among the many voices that call to us.  The bible serves as a “reality check” not only for our lives but also for the “truth claims” we hear around us.  When those claims contradict the clear teaching of the bible, they are suspect.  

The next time you are trying to discern “reality” for yourself in a particular situation, ask these three questions: (1) Where does the bible provide insight on this claim? (2) As I pray, how do I sense the Sprit leading?  (3) Would affirming this “truth” lead me to violate what I already know of God?  

Finally, at least for me, I need to acknowledge that I have no control or impact over much of the data that troubles me. I need to pray for those involved and not feel pressured beyond my ability to discern.  I will find rest of soul by affirming that I know the One who is in control and He is always trustworthy.  He is my truth.

Gwynne Johnson currently serves on the Board of Entrust, Inc., an international education and training mission where she authored the Entrust curriculum, Developing a Discerning Heart. She recently served as Co-Chair of the training project, Christian Women in Partnership, Russia and as Senior Director of Women's Ministry at Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas. Gwynne has a M.A. in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. She currently lives in Huntsville, Texas with her husband of 58 years, Don. She works part-time in her daughter and granddaughter's bakery "The Best Box Ever," where she gets paid in cookies.