Lots of people have different New Years resolutions, and some approach improvement in a different way but one approach that seems to have gotten more and more popular in the last few years is choosing one word in that year and focusing on it. Personally, I was never very motivated by it until this year.
I realize I am a week late, but I’ve chosen to focus on the word Truth for 2017. Just this week, there have been many personal challenges in evaluating what is true over what is not true, and time and time again it has come up in a way that is significant.
It’s kind of ironic that I’m choosing truth as my word for 2017 because, as it turns out, “post truth” is the word that the Oxford English Dictionary gave the honor of being the word of the year in 2016.
Ravi Zacharias defines “post truth” to say, “There is a soft side to the meaning that suggests that objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than are appeals to emotion and personal belief. Well, that is hardly new. But the hard meaning being smuggled in here tells us that in this culture we willfully and justifiably convey something false because it accomplishes a personal or end goal. The end justifies the means and the means, in effect, do not need to justify themselves. But here is the post-mortem. Really, post-truth as a phenomenon is not new. If indeed “post-truth” is the new word of the year in our postmodern lexicon, we might well say that it all depends on what “is” means. Just as postmodern is neither post nor modern but existed in the first conversation at creation’s dawn—“Has God spoken?”—So also post-truth is actually rebellion right from the beginning. That was the mother of all questions in search of anarchy. “Has God given us His word?” The answer to that question spelled life or death.”
Several things in our surrounding culture seem to justify the false representations of our own selves, or even personal ambitions. By submitting to those post truths that have become so natural, so normal, and accepted, we give way to lies in our culture and lies about ourselves. As Ravi Zacharias points out, this pattern finds itself first in the Garden of Eden, when Satan lied to the woman and thus began to doubt what was true. That same instance in the garden takes place in us to challenge us in the Lord and it takes place to question authority.
It is particularly important to stay focused on truth, as it clearly impacts our behavior, our thoughts, and our words. What we believe in general impacts our perspective, yet what we believe about ourselves is also important as it shapes so much of the life that we choose. A few weeks ago, I sat in a Bible study and the question was brought up, that we should ask ourselves to keep in check. The question is “What lie are you believing about yourself?” It has since then stuck with me to the point of feeling like it needs to remain a focus of mine in 2017. Whether the battle is “post truth” that this culture has given way to, or simply a lie that the enemy is attempting to use against me, there is truth to know and to revel in. There is truth to proclaim and to take comfort in and His name is Jesus. Jesus takes care of both of those things. Jesus is the best truth there is.