Monday, March 8, 2021

Choosing What to Believe

By Ron Bartanen
    Among the many witty and thought-provoking bits of wisdom that has come my way on the Internet recently was this observation: “The truth is that most of us decide what lies we want to believe.”   Prejudices abound in such realms as politics, culture and religion.  True objectivity in separating fact from fiction is hard to find.  We are universally affected by our backgrounds, friends and environment.  A truly subjective seeking after truth in a multitude of areas of life is difficult, if not entirely impossible, to find.  The result is a divided society, often resulting in chaos and even war.  Life, thereby, becomes a burden upon mankind as each seeks his own way.  The natural inclination of man is to seek a way that will harmonize with his own prejudices and preferences.  The problem is rooted within our own degenerate hearts, which the Bible describes as “deceitful in all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9).
    God’s answer to man’s predicament is a person—His own Son, Who declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).  Through Jesus, God has reconciled believers to Himself, through the crucifixion of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:18-21), uniting us with Him who is the embodiment of truth.  While our minds and hearts seek to feed us an assortment of lies, in Christ we are afforded the totality of truth, as He declared to His disciples: “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32).  The Holy Spirit-inspired word which they proclaimed was the word of God, as Jesus prayed on the eve of His betrayal: “Father, sanctify them through your truth; Your word is truth” (John 17:17).  That truth affects every facet of the believer’s worldview and conduct.  We open our hearts to Satan’s lies if our hearts are not guarded by this truth, as Paul declared of those who did not love the truth, “For this cause God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12). The choice is ours.
- Ronald Bartanen is a retired minister who for many years served the Lord's church in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee. He may be contacted through the website:

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