What Is Truth?

First off, let’s just start out by saying – “I don’t really know, but I really want to know.”  🙂

In fact the more I seem to know the more I seem to know how much there is I really don’t know.

And maybe that’s the right place to start when discussing such a profound topic.

I was talking to a friend & fellow freedom crusader, Mr. Ed Justus today who expressed to me how, in his mind, a grasp of humility seems to be a crucial step in gaining further light & knowledge.

I learned in my morning study that this humility idea appears to have some strong backing from a man who seems to have been both a billionaire and a seeker of truth, Sir. John Marks Templeton (founder of the famous Templeton mutual fund).

He actually founded an organization called The Humility Theology Information Center.

Interesting right?

And maybe it’s true that the second you claim to have “Captured it” or “Figured it out” – is the second it flees from you.

Like Napoleon Hill wrote in The Law of Success, when you close the cover of the book of knowledge and write “Finis, across the pages” while exclaiming to yourself – there it is – I have learned it all” – you’ve just damned yourself.

Damned meaning “Stopped your progression.”

So maybe, humility is the right place to begin.

That being said, I feel like I’ve found some clues that have been helpful to me along my journey and I want to pass them along to you, as food for thought, in the hopes they can be useful to you as well.

Let me ask you this first though…

What is your definition of truth?

As someone who feels like he’s on a search for truth, it’s always been so perplexing to me how difficult it seems to be – to define.

If you want to find something – wouldn’t defining it be a good place to start, so you’ll know it when  you find it?

If you have a good definition of truth, I’d love to hear it down below.

Let me share with you a few that I’ve tucked away in my brain over the years.

First, from Jesus…

The truth shall set you free.  

That sounds GREAT right?  Who doesn’t want to be free?

Only problem here is, it still doesn’t explain what truth actually is.

Another one from Winston Churchhill

The truth is incontrovertible.  Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.

Ooooh… I like that one.  Don’t you?

But yet again, a definition eludes us.

Then one day I was reading a book called “How to Read A Book” by a man named Mortimer Adler who was the chief editor of the Encyclopedia Britannica.

There I was, reading along and all of a sudden I read something that made me sit up in my chair.

He said, “The truth is easy to define.” 

Huh?

Ok, let’s have it sir!

 If it is, it is.  If it isn’t, it isn’t.  

ha ha.

Well that makes sense, right?

On one level that makes total, complete and absolute sense!

We want what we believe and latch onto as ‘The Truth‘ to be factual right?

Here are some other things to consider.

While factual information may certainly be one aspect or definition of truth,

…is that the definition we seem to be looking for with that yearning deep down inside?

Are we just looking for facts regardless of what those facts say or what they mean to us?

Is that the truth we’re looking for?

And what about the idea that facts can be both inspiring or uninspiring, uplifting or deflating.

The newspapers are filled with “Truth” all be it negative, soul-sucking and depressing truth.

Is this what Jesus was talking about when he said “The truth shall set you free?” 

And then there’s the case of nonfactual stories that express ideas and principles that make you tingle and feel moved deep down inside.

Per Mr. Adler’s definition – we would have to say,

…”well, that story or movie was just something someone made up – therefore, it didn’t really happen, is not factually based & therefore, isn’t true.”

Wouldn’t it be a mistake to discard something like that & not allow it to influence our journey?

I guess what I’m trying to say is there seem to be

  • things that are factually true that are not useful and in some cases actually harmful to our journey’s, and on the flip side,
  • there seem to be some things that might not be factually true (like a touching movie), or an old fable that strives to express a great truth through story – that can reach down deep inside and move the soul.

If you’re still reading along – maybe you can see my conundrum and maybe you can even identify with it a bit.

This brings me to the last definition of truth that I’d like to share with you today.

I’d love to invite you to just chew on this a bit and see how it sits with you.

And of course, if you have a better definition or added insights, I’d sure love to hear them below.

A week or so ago I was walking up and down my driveway having a bit of a conversation or prayer.

I was expressing how confused I was on this topic and was asking for help in understanding how to define truth in a way that would ease some of the confusion in my mind.

All of a sudden, a few simple words floated into my mind.

‘Truth is that which leads to God.’ 

I invite you to say that out loud to yourself.

How does it feel to you when you say it?

For me, it was like the sun coming out, the clouds moving apart and things sort of fell into place for me.

An answer to prayer that brought a bit of peace to my soul.

“Is this idea, person, business, habit, or thing – leading me to God?”

If so, then maybe that’s what Jesus was talking about when he said…

“The truth shall set you free.”  

Perhaps this is how a story from a book or a movie doesn’t need to be factually ‘true‘ to fall in line with the above definition.

If a fictional movie is expressing an idea that leads us to…

  • Judge less
  • Love more
  • Express more kindness

We are inspired, because – even though the story might not have occurred in real life, the idea it’s expressing is one which can lead us closer to God if latched onto and lived.

And with this different way of looking at truth…

“Truth is that which leads to God.”

I can see how something can be factually true (like all the worst things people are doing to each other expressed on the news each day) and not lead me to God or provide food for my soul.

Interesting thoughts to consider, right?

What is truth my friend?

I’d love to hear your thoughts below.

PS – This is one of my favorite things to talk about so thanks for allowing me to indulge even though it may or may not be directly related to building an income from home.. 🙂

Video Version of Today’s Post

Thanks for stopping by and whatever you do, always go for your dreams,

Paul Hutchings

Paul Hutchings

PS - Have you heard about the internet's most well kept cash flow explosion secret? If not, here's your private & confidential access link.

12 thoughts on “What Is Truth?”

  1. Wow! Loved your words, Paul! It does make sense with “it is, or it isn’t” but that can be construed so many ways with what people -believe- to be true. Great point with if it’s leading us to God; only good things can come from that!

    Reply
    • Thanks brother Mike! Very much appreciate the positive feedback. Totally agree with what you said about only good things coming from that which leads us to higher ground! So grateful to be working with you.

      Reply
  2. Great post and this can be viewed in so many different ways. Truth can be taught, learned, given, and taken away. I believe truth is almost a made up way of stating “What you believe”. But then the question is like infinity… If truth is what you believe, how can it be true if it’s just a belief. hahaha. I think I am in too deep Paul. lol

    Reply
    • lol. See why this is so confusing! Ha ha.. I’m glad I’m not the only one that gets into deep waters on this topic. And I think stating what you believe maybe a “Your truth” in a way – and Napoleon Hill refers to something like this in the Chapter called Accurate thought in The Law of Success – so definitely – I think that can be one way to define it – but then on the flip side – what about universal laws like Gravity? Gravity will make me fall off a building whether I believe in it or not right? I read a series of books one time called ‘The Harmonic Series’ that talked about physical law and moral law. Gravity would be an example of physical law -and the book said just as there are physical laws (or truth) governing the physical relm – there are also laws (truth) governing the moral realm. And and the rabbit hole continues… 🙂 Thanks for sharing your thoughts Robin!

      Reply
  3. Thanks you for this food for thought today. I have been hurt by what other people represented as the truth probably because I wanted their words to be honest and trustworthy when actually it’s just the truth I wanted to know. But I’m grateful for the hurt because it lead me to ponder the meaning in this post. To listen to God’s words, to let his light and truth beam out of me. It lead me to be able to recognize, most of the time my true compass and what I want others to see in me. That’s why I love HBA and TAGR full of knowledge and honestly. Principle centered leaders.
    Thanks Paul!

    Reply
    • Beautiful thoughts Sarah! Your insights made me think of a conversation I had with Joseph Bradley on this topic yesterday… We talked about how even the negative “truths” can sometimes also be ‘that which leads us to God’ because they help us see contrast. Like the old scripture says “knowing the bitter to appreciate the sweet” or something like that. I love how you found meaning in those experiences that led you closer to that which was leading you upward an onward. You’re a great soul Sarah Peebles! Thanks for always doing such a great job shining your light and lifting those around you!

      Reply
  4. Paul,

    I rarely take the time to comment on anything, but your topic was too important not to share some of my own conclusions as I’ve thought deeply about this same question.

    For me, I had a break through when I made a clear distinction between truth and facts. Truth will always be factual, but “facts” do not meet the strict definition of Truth. Facts give us information. Truth gives us meaning. Facts are important. They can tell us something specific and perhaps useful about the past or present, but they never extend into the future. Facts are temporary and can change. Truth is a knowledge of things as they were, as they are, and as they will be. Truth is permanent and cannot change. It is eternal.

    An example of how to distinguish the two would be that it is a “fact” that I’m writing right now, but since this will not always be the case, then I could say that it’s not true. We usually use the words fact and truth interchangeably and most of the time there’s no problem with this, but it can lead to problems in our thinking if we’re not careful. Indeed, it can lead to very serious problems.

    The most devious and destructive lies are always supported by facts. We believe these lies about ourself and others when we draw permanent conclusions based on temporary facts. We hear or think things about ourselves that are negative: (I’m ugly, overweight, unintelligent, an addict, worthless, etc.). Whatever the negative conclusion is that we draw about ourselves, others, or our present circumstances is NEVER TRUE, regardless of the facts that seem to support that negative conclusion. They can’t be true, because facts can’t extend into the future, but Truth can. I can change. Others can change. Circumstances can change. Accepting a negative conclusion AS Permanent denies this reality.

    Faith in that which is True allows us to act in the present despite all challenges and facts to the contrary with hope that God will work in us and around us to bless ourselves and others. This is how the Truth sets us free.

    Thank you so much for your great post! And thanks for letting me share!

    Peace and Blessing

    Reply
    • Wow, wow, WOW!

      Thank you Tremain, so much for taking the time to share such a thoughtful and insightful comment… It’s clear you’ve reflected on this a lot and I am SOOOO grateful for the added insights you shared on Facts Vs. Truth…

      “Facts can give us information but truth can give us meaning.” I love that.

      I also love how you drew the distinction between temporary and permanent.

      Perhaps the word ‘Truth’ resonates so deeply with so many is because in it’s highest sense, it expresses that.

      That which has been, is and will always be there.

      The rock of truth on which we can rely.

      If ‘love’ is a truth – there may be many facts and experiences and stories that can be lived and expressed to illustrate the idea of love – but love – at its essence – is not the facts that describe it.

      It is that which has been, is, and will always be there.

      Hope I’m catching the drift what part of what you expressed in this post…

      I’m going to let this soak in my mind and definitely will be coming back to read and re-read your post.

      Thank you, thank you, thank you!

      Reply
    • Great thoughts Tremain! I appreciate you taking the time out to share your journey, and your understanding that has helped you along the way. There are so many pearls in this comment like Truth vs Facts. Great stuff!

      Reply
  5. Paul another amazing post, and thank you for always being courageous enough to ask the tough questions. I love the open honesty that you started with in this post.

    I think we all have a definition of what Truth is, and it’s funny that pretty much all of these definitions tend to differ from others’ defintion. Which leads me to ask the question if Truth can actually be difined?

    Or is defining even necessary?

    What if Truth is really the honest search for it?

    The willingness to continue on the journey to becoming the next best version of us…

    What if it has nothing to do with facts, or a definition at all?

    What if Truth is simply deciding to follow move forward toward constructing a better world built on LOVE & LIGHT?

    Well…All of that leads to God, so…

    Perhaps the definition you got in the driveway is Truth.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
    • Great insights and questions coach J Brad! “Questions are the keys that unlock the mental chains of thought tyrants.” and you do such a great job of helping to FREE the mind!

      And I think you’re probably right in a sense that if we think we can fully define it – we probably don’t really understand it… because it’s bigger and more vast than words can do justice.

      Reply

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