What is TRUTH

Aunt Betsy wasn’t an awful cook, but I’d hesitate to call her a good cook. We often ate out 15when we would visit her, but this time we opted to order in pizza. The pizza was good, and now it was time for Aunt Betsy’s famous chocolate cake desert. Oh, don’t you get too excited over there, this was one of Aunt Betsy’s worst recipes, yet she made it almost every family get together. When Aunt Betsy went to get the cake from the kitchen, dad reached across the table and grabbed two extra slices of pizza and put them on his plate. Aunt Betsy returned and asked, “who wants cake?”. I glanced at my brother concerned for my own wellbeing, knowing I would be served a slice of cake. Mom took the first piece, grateful for her food. My brother was next, and then I. Dad politely declined saying he still had pizza to finish, so Aunt Betsy served herself and then put the cake back in the fridge. Mom started eating hers slowly but surely obviously trying not to make too repulsive of a face with each bite. I played with mine and then looked at Danny who almost had his demolished. After watching him for a while I noticed the dog under the table and considered trying to give mine to him, but then remembered what happened last time I tried that. I continued to play with mine when my mom shot me a glance. I sighed and unwillingly took a bite. I instantly wanted to vomit, but after an unpleasant face I forced down the cake without even chewing it and took a sip of water. And then another. Aunt Betsy was almost finished with hers, and mom was chugging her iced tea since her cake was already gone. Danny also had “finished” his which meant I was the only one left besides dad who was nibbling at pizza yet. “What’s wrong Angie, don’t you like the cake,” Aunt Betsy asked. “It’s fine, just pretty full, that’s all.” “Well dear, we can put it in the fridge for later if you’d like” she responded. I should have known she would say that. Why can’t I just tell her the truth?

So who was being the most truthful in this story?

  • The mom who was lying by pretending to enjoy the cake between every bite?
  • Danny who loved it?
  • Angie who was avoiding it?
  • Dad who was making excuses.

Were any of these truthful?

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We live in an era where truth is referred to as relative. Where people claim you need to “find your own truth” and where it is perfectly normal for my truth to not be your truth. But what exactly is truth? Dictionary.com defines truth as “the quality or state of being true” (and, since it used true – defined true as “in accordance with fact or reality, accurate or exact, loyal or faithful, honest”) making the definition of truth ‘the quality or state of being in accordance with fact or reality, being accurate, exact, loyal, faithful, and honest’.

We expect truth every day. When we go to the grocery store, we want to know the truth about how much we owe. When we go to the doctor’s office we want the truth about our health. In the court room we want to hear the truth from witnesses. The truth is important because it helps us make wise, informed decisions. The problem is, when truth is made relative, it no longer comes from an external source, but rather from within ourselves. For example, if my milk costs $1.33 I know that is a $1 bill, three dimes, and three pennies. That is a nationally recognized currency from the government. On the other hand, me thinking Aunt Betsy’s chocolate cake is repulsive, doesn’t mean you have to. My statement of Aunt Betsy’s cake being gross isn’t truth, it’s opinion I am treating as fact when in reality, our opinions can never be fact. It is so important that this distinction is made, because when truth and morality come from within – they are opinions and the law, which is outside of ourselves gets broken. So what is truth?

The Bible tells us in John 17:17, “your word is truth” and we know Jesus is the word (John 1:1). On top of that, John 14:6 says, “I (Jesus) am the way, the truth, and the life.” Truth isn’t a thing, it’s a person, and truth comes from that person who is Christ.

In John 18:37-38 we see a man asking for the truth.

“’You are a king, then!’ said Pilate. Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into this world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.’ What is truth? retorted Pilate” (John 18:37-38 NIV)

Pilate wanted to know the truth, can you blame him? The irony here is that Pilate was talking to Jesus – who IS TRUTH. So instead of asking WHAT is truth, we should be asking WHO is truth? Then, in recognizing Jesus as truth, we can share that truth with others, knowing that truth is greater than ourselves.

Written By: Lindsey Duerr, DCE