In Philippians, Paul says “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the difference between potentially true statements and ‘truth’. I think so much of my sin and frustration has come from meditating on a potentially ‘true’ statement instead of meditating on the ‘truth’. It seems to me like their should be true things and false things and as long as I’m on the ‘true’ side – I’m fine. But that’s not the case. The reality is, there are a million potentially ‘true’ things that we aren’t called to meditate and focus on because they are not ultimately the ‘truth’.
So, over the next couple of posts I’ll focus on statements that might be ‘true’ but aren’t the ‘truth’.
Here’s example one of a potentially true statement that is not truth:
“I am single because no one wants me’.
I myself NEVER struggle with this thought. However, I have a “friend” who does. And here’s why it’s hard for ‘her’ to fight this: because really – it might just be true.
While my (er…her) friends might try to convince her there’s not an ounce of truth in that – they just don’t know that. And logically of course it might really be the case. It might be true that she is single because no one wants her. It might be true that she is single because she’s crazy and annoying. She might be single because she is too opinionated and not sweet or pretty enough.
All these things might be true. But these things are not the truth. They are not the ‘true’ that Paul is talking about in Philippians 4 that we should think on. They are not the truth that brings the peace and trust in God.
The truth is:
“I am single because it’s for my good.” (Romans 8:28)
“I am single because it is better for me than marriage.” (1 Corinthians 7:38)
“I am single because it’s God’s goodness in my life.” (psalm 84:11)
The call from Paul is a call to fight the sin with faith in the truth. I cannot fight the sin of self-pity, covetousness, jealousy, discontentment by trying to take potentially true statements and declare them false. I will never conquer insecurity by trying to convince myself that potentially true statements are false. My hope and peace and purity won’t be found in believing that I’m not crazy or that I’m not single because no one wants me.
My hope and peace and purity come when I believe the truth. That I have every need met in Christ. That ‘all is mine’ as it says in 1 Corinthians. That marriage is not a reward for godliness and singleness is not a punishment for sin. I am single because He loves me. I am single because He made a promise to give me everything that’s good for me. And He is faithful.
Counsel yourself, counsel others with the truth. Don’t counsel them with potentially true statements, and don’t council them by trying to deny potentially true statements. Regardless of what is potentially ‘true’ there is only one source of perfect truth and wisdom, and that has been fully revealed to us in God’s word. We don’t have to wonder about all the other factors – we just need to take hold of the clear and perfect truth. Fight the good fight of believing that truth. Cling to it and wrap ourselves in it and entertain no other thoughts.
More potentially ‘true’ thoughts vs. truth to come…