Have you ever had those times when you’re going grocery shopping, in a class, focusing at your workstation, having coffee with someone, listening to a podcast, watching a Youtube video, reading a Facebook post, and very suddenly – SLOP!
You’re now dripping with sludgy negativity, coated in slimy lies, or itching from scratchy darkness. Sometimes you don’t know where it came from, and sometimes you do. Maybe it was a well-meaning friend, a cranky coworker, a hopeless classmate, a misled teacher, a depressing magazine cover, a call-to-action-for-the-wrong-action Facebook post, a raunchy song on the radio, or a stranger cranking on about something or other.
Whatever it is, you’re left wondering how something so simple and there-and-gone-again could affect you so greatly. You’re left thinking of what to do next, or simply not enjoying it. You’re left feeling heavier than you were before (and I whole-heartedly believe, whether we realize it or not, searching for a way to lift that weight). We usually end up doing one of two things: wallowing in/sitting on/thinking too much about/not looking past, whatever it is. Or, we end up lifting our head, looking past it, searching for good things in godly places, and shoving that garbage aside. And yes, I think it is as simple as one of two things, as simple as one part of a binary set.
That second option, that’s where Jesus comes in, and bringing Truth with Him! He spurs us to gentle, holy action (something He was and is brimming with), and brings to our surface His Truth that has already been planted there. But don’t worry! If you’re thinking, “I don’t have His Truth planted in me. I’ve never gone to church, or read the Bible. I don’t know anything about this!” If that’s the case, then you know exactly what to do now: go read some Truth, and I suggest starting with Romans (it’s packed with Truth!). This is when you start placing His Truth within yourself, and He’ll do the rest. He honours these actions. He loves them, and He loves you! No matter what. Period.
So, back to the Truth planted within us: this is the whole reason we read the Bible! Every time we do, it plants more and more Truth within us: knowledge of how to act with goodness, how to speak with love, how to walk gently, how to sort out our thoughts in a self-controlled manner, how to smile with joy, how to wait with patience, how to stand in faith, how to search for peace, and how to feel by kindness.
Isn’t that fantastically wonderful?! We can know how to do everything we ever need to. Just think about that for a second…
This is all because His Words – A.K.A., the WHOLE Bible – are Truth. The more we read and practice it, the more it flows through our veins, travels through our neurons and finds its way out through our hands, mouth, and eyes. But, it’s something we do have to consciously DO, many times over. Things like:
- YOU choose to turn on an uplifting song
- YOU choose to spend time with good influences, godly influences
- YOU choose to speak joyful words over your own life and those around you
- YOU choose not to speak gossip or lies or dark things
- YOU choose to join a faith-filled community that can support you, and in return you can support them
- YOU choose to speak your mind to Jesus, to pray about anything and everything
- YOU choose to be honest with whatever or whoever you’re confronted by
- YOU choose to respond with love to something fake, hateful, or hurtful
- YOU choose to turn away from dark thoughts, surrendering them to Jesus and depending on Him to bring you out of them
- YOU choose to constantly invite Him into every situation, every part of your life
- YOU choose to believe Him when He promises things to you in the Bible
- YOU choose to give your life, your actions, your words, and your feelings to Him
These are just a few ways we can practice His Truth in our lives, but every one of them comes from the Bible. If someone tells you something that doesn’t seem to fit, then line it up against what the Bible says. That will quickly show you whether it’s based in Truth, or in lies.
“A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armour so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”
Ephesians 6:10-12 (NLT)
This isn’t Rock, Paper, Scissors. Nothing beats Truth. It just doesn’t, because God made it that way. Isn’t that awesome?! No matter what we come up against in our everyday lives, His Truth, can and will, gently blast it back out of our lives, leaving in its place something sweet and comforting.
I love that we can rely so heavily on His Truth, that even when we get stumped by something, we know we can search for (and find!) the answer in the Bible. We can use His Truth, His eternal Words, His unbreakable bond with us, to shield ourselves, to pull us through every mud patch, to strengthen us to love others.
God’s Truth is the best kind of Swiss Army knife – it will make you ready for anything.
And so I write to you, “What a Wonderful World!”