What is Truth?

These were the famous spoken words of Pontius Pilate just before he gave consent to have Jesus crucified. It’s a good question. One that many people ask today.  What is truth? I found that truth is not just some statement of fact, but also a person.

Can a person really be the embodiment of truth? In the Bible, Jesus said to Pontius Pilate “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, but through me.” (NIV version, emphasis added.) When I read that, it explained why sometimes when I was remembering a painful memory, when I would ask for the whole truth in the matter, I would see Jesus helping me, giving me insights, or protecting me from more harm than I actually received.

I’ll give you an example:

When I was in my first year of grade school, I was very nervous and uncertain. All through my school years, with the exception of grade 11, I was a C average student and I thought I was dumb. There were three or four students who had failed that grade and were repeating the year with us. One day, as an adult, when I was really struggling to learn something, that feeling of being dumb and fear of failure overtook me and all I wanted to do was quit and forget all about this idea of ever learning something new. I stopped what I was doing and took stock of my feelings. My stomach was in knots, my shoulders were very heavy as if I was carrying 30 extra pounds on them wrapped around my neck and choking me. I sought the source of these feelings, looking into my past to where they all began and I landed in my seat in the classroom of my first year in a one room school house in my home town.

Now I know that memories are not always accurate for details, but they are more like a composite of how we perceived the event. In my case, I was sitting in my desk believing I would never learn anything here and I would never measure up. The teacher rewarded the fast learners with toys to play with while us slowpokes would labour to catch up. I never got a toy during the whole year. I really believed that was because I was slow, not too bright and useless.

When I asked for the truth, I “saw” Jesus show up in my memory, squat beside the desk and give me a toy to play with. He assured me that speed of learning was not related to intelligence and that intelligence was not related to value or worth. He opened a book before me and showed me pictures of animals that have been created, each one with its own measure of intelligence and speed and yet every one of them was a valuable member of the world and would be greatly missed if it was extinguished from the earth.

Then Jesus kissed me on the forehead leaving a mark on me and assured me that I would grow up and bless a lot of people if I don’t give up. Peace washed over me. Joy trickled in where defeat had been, and in just a few minutes I was back to work with renewed energy to learn what I needed to learn. My learning power is still not super fast, but I am less easily discouraged than before.

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