Truth. Some say it's all relative, but let's face it, those people are kind of missing the entire definition of "truth." When something is true it inherently means that everything else that contradicts it is not true. Truth is absolute, correct, accurate. It does not bend to feelings or changes in culture, it simply is.
Truth is also generally not popular opinion. Today's culture elevates acceptance, and moreover, the actual condoning of sin in the name of "love," over the basic, clear-cut truth of the Bible which always pairs love with truth. One without the other is sadly ineffective and misleading.
As believers, we have seen this happening for years. It's been obvious that our road is narrow and we are not of this world, but this is where it becomes scary and slippery. That dividing line that used to distinguish us as followers of God is becoming fuzzier and fainter and the corruption, and all-out manipulation, of the truth is coming from within the body of believers. The church is being swayed by the culture, ladies, and it's more important than ever that we know what it is we believe and why.
Peter told us this would happen. In 2 Peter 2:1-3 he says, "But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed, they will exploit you with deceptive words. Their judgment, made long ago, does not linger, and their destruction does not slumber."
So how do we avoid going along with the masses and being sucked into the widespread deception that even they do not realize they are in? (Because, obviously, if they knew they were being deceived, they wouldn't believe it.)
We surround ourselves with the truth.
How to Know the Truth
At the risk of oversimplification, I'm going to tell you how you can know know what is true: Read the Bible. It really is that simple. The Bible is the inerrant Word of God, or as it says about itself in Hebrews 4:12, "For the word of God is alive, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intents of the heart."
It has existed since before time began, as we read in John 1:1, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
And it will last for all eternity, according to Isaiah 40:8, "The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever."
In addition to God giving us His holy and true Word, he has also given His Holy Spirit to all who believe in Him. So, if reading the Bible ever feels intimidating or difficult, all you have to do is pray and remember what He tells us in John 14:26, "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you."
As believers, we are supposed to be growing in the Word so that we can decipher it for ourselves and lead discerning lives. We really shouldn't be relying on our pastors or devotionals to spoon-feed us day after day and week after week. Knowing what the Bible says for ourselves is the only way to ensure we aren't easily convinced to believe the lies of the enemy. The more we study the real thing, the easier it is to spot the counterfeits that cross our paths.
Where to Start
If the Bible still feels like a lot to tackle or you feel as though you just don't have the time, then I would encourage you to start small and simple. Pick a book such as one of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), and just read a little each day. Pray before you enter into the Word that God would fill you with His Spirit and make the Words plain and clear for you, and then just read, even if only for five minutes.
Some other simple but effective practices you could incorporate into your life would be Bible memory and writing out Scripture. By memorizing even the shortest of verses, you are arming your heart with the truth and preparing yourself for those times when you need to be able to easily recall what it says. Similarly, when you interact with the Scripture by writing it down, you are engaging an entirely different part of your brain that allows the Words to sink in even more deeply, and it also gives you the time for more contemplative, slow reflection over the passage.
If you want to take things a step farther, I highly recommend that you learn the inductive Bible study method, which allows you to study the Bible within its own context without adding any extra commentary. Precept.org has some wonderful studies to get you started or I also recommend the Journal and Doodle Studies from StoneSoupforFive.com.
So let's take this task seriously. Let's not forsake what Peter encouraged us to be able to do in 1 Peter 3:15-16, " But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts. Always be ready to give an answer to every man who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you, with gentleness and fear. Have a good conscience so that evildoers who speak evil of you and falsely accuse your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed."
Let us not forget the great privilege we have of so easily being able to access the Word of God, and let's make sure we do it justice by knowing what it says and living by it. We owe it to ourselves, we owe it to our kids and ultimately, we owe it to Him.
Reprinted with permission from TriciaGoyer.comGoyer.com. MacKenzie Monroe is a wife, mother of 4, homeschooler and all around crunchy gal. She enjoys inspiring women through her podcast, Cultivating the Lovely (cultivatingthelovely.com), and blog, Boldturquoise.com, to pour the labor, care and study into the roles that God has given them. Her aim is to be real and make life a little more lovely in the everyday moments, even when it's messy!
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