Truth: You Can’t Handle The Truth

Seek not greatness, but seek truth and you will find both. – Horace Mann

This week, The Stretched Blog will focus on TRUTH.


What is truth?

According to the Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary, truth is:

the state of being the case :fact(2): the body of real things, events, and facts :actuality(3)often capitalized: a transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality

a judgment, proposition, or idea that is true or accepted as true <truths of thermodynamics>

the body of true statements and propositions

We live in a time when truth is often questioned, compromised, ignored, and simply made relative.

“Well, that’s okay for you, but not for me.”

Psychologists argue that truth is relative.  They argue that what is true for you, isn’t necessarily true for everyone else.  They say that there is no such thing as absolute truth.  In his Psychology Today article, The Truth Will Not Set You Free, psychotherapist William Berry argues,

“Truth” is merely a product of perceptions; perceptions are colored by experience, which is then filtered through the current state of mind and altered even further. By the time the neutral event is processed in this manner, it is little more truth than fiction.

I’m not a philosopher, a preacher, or a psychologist (and I don’t play one on TV), but I shudder at the thought of psychologists teaching students that there is no absolute truth – and that truth in general is fiction.

I believe truth is more than just a story.  I believe that truth is an important on a myriad of levels.  And I believe there is absolute truth.  This week we’ll explore several different angles of truth.  I hope you’ll stick with me and join in the conversation, so we can all learn from each other.

Running Away From Reality

Many of us simply run away from reality.  As Jack Nicholson said in A Few Good Men, [We] “can’t handle the truth.”

Maybe its an addiction.  Maybe it’s a tainted past.  Maybe it’s abuse.  Maybe it’s the fear of being responsible – financially, emotionally, spiritually, parentally, maritally, or relationally.

For many of us, we simply don’t want to deal with the truth of these and other issues in our lives.  Before we can examine truth further though, we must look inside and deal with the truth of our own lives.

What truth are we ignoring?  What reality are we running from?  What do we need to bring to light in our lives so we can move forward with honesty?

These are questions we all must ask ourselves from time to time.  Failure to wrestle with truths such as these can leave us living a fairy tale lie.  It also prevents us from making progress towards healing.  And it can be immature and irresponsible to live as if the truth just doesn’t matter.

“Let’s just live as if the truth doesn’t matter.  Let’s keep lying to ourselves about needing a budget, needing marital counseling, or needing parenting advice.”

These are the lies we tell ourselves, so we don’t have to take responsibility.

Let’s stop this today.  Let’s admit that we have problems.  Let’s decide today to get the help we need.  Let’s start being truthful with ourselves.

How have you handled truth in your own life?  How has it helped you to deal with things honestly?  What suggestions do you have for those who are struggling to face personal realities?