“This is the true joy of life: the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clot of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.” George Bernard Shaw.
An old song goes, “White is black and black is white for no good reason that I know, Only that my baby says it’s so. Night is day and day is night The moon at noon is all aglow Just because my baby says it’s so.” (From the film “The singing Marine” 1937 sung by Dick Powel)
This is not the only occasion when our perception of truth is confused by people we admire. Picture the teenager who has been taught by his parents and teachers to avoid drugs because they can harm him. His friends in the popular crowd tell him something quite different. “They will expand your mind,” they say, “surely you don’t subscribe to such an old-fashioned set of values?. Everybody who is anybody is doing it.”
Later in life it is “the smart thing to do,” to lie to the insurance or to cheat on your tax return.
The question is, whom do we want to impress? Does the teenager want to appear cool to his friends or obedient to his parents? Does the opinion of our colleagues matter more to us than the opinion of God?
God says, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20 NIV)
Opinion is swayed so much by social media, by movies and music, by the general perception of “Everybody is doing it so it must be right.” There are fashions and cycles to what society believes. I’ve been reading Jane Austen at the moment and it’s fascinating to read how society of the day viewed things. How can we know the Truth?
Jesus prayed for us.
“My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one… Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:15 and 17 NIV)
To those who had believed him Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32 NIV)
Lord Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life, You promised that if we hold to Your teaching, we will know the truth. So I ask in confidence, open my eyes to the truth that will set me free. Amen.