We live in a time when many lesser things are commonly placed above truth. Personal preference, the pursuit of pleasure, a commitment to political ideals (or ideologies of any kind), and utopian dreams all come first. And when other things come first, truth is considered merely a tool for achieving those other things—a tool to be abandoned when it doesn’t serve the “more important” purpose we’re committed to. The idea that we need to conform our ideas, words, and behavior to something fixed outside of us—even when it hinders our goals—is foreign to most people today.
Once you abandon truth for the sake of something “greater,” you will go wrong, no matter how lofty and noble you think your goals are. Truth is a guardrail protecting us from the biggest danger we face as human beings: foolish human ideas. It reveals problems as they really are. It points to solutions that will truly help. It serves goodness. It glorifies God.
But it can also interfere with our plans, prove us wrong, aid our ideological opponents, discourage us, and reveal things about us we would rather not admit. It humbles us—and worse, it threatens our autonomy. This is why we need God’s help to embrace it.
The temptation to close our eyes to truth, to tweak it, to hide the inconvenient bits for the sake of something “good” is especially strong in our culture right now. But every truly good thing can only be discovered, revealed, and accomplished in truth, so we ignore truth at our peril. Instead, we must seek it, submit to it, champion it, and allow ourselves to be changed by it rather than viewing it as a dispensable tool to be discarded when it interferes with our well-intentioned narrative and goals. You cannot blur truth for the sake of serving God because only truth can point to the God who is true.
Our culture’s cavalier attitude towards truth is in the very air we breathe, and if you think you won’t be affected by it, you are wrong. If you don’t actively fight it, you will be conformed to it. Each of us needs to ask God to enable us to submit to truth because each of us needs his help.
As I’ve been praying for our culture’s return to truth, I’ve found that my prayers for myself have centered around six areas of my relationship to truth, so I simplified the categories into a single prayer that I hope you’ll join me in praying every day until this cultural moment has passed. Pray it as it is, or use it as an outline, filling in the details of the specific situations you’re facing:
Father, move my heart to desire truth.
Sharpen my eyes to see truth.
Mold my mind to think truth.
Embolden my mouth to speak truth.
Strengthen my hands to serve truth.
Grant me love to adorn truth.