What gives life? It’s simple, it’s the truth, that’s what. There is nothing quite like the truth. Incisive and cuttingly relevant, it divines the very essence of life, as we know it and as we live it. As a champion of truth, Os Guinness remarks:
“Truth is freedom, and the only way to live free is to become a person of truth.”
This living truth gives us power and yet we don’t know it, and it doesn’t even appear real, until we’ve actually taken it on and experienced it personally.
We cannot live genuinely passionate lives—in other words, a worthy life—without first approaching objective truth front on and assimilating this in our own subjective ways.
A worthy life is what each of us owes our Creator. But this is not positioned in some falsely, superficial and legalistic way. Beyond our own existence i.e. for our own benefit, is the existence of others, and their benefit for having us around. We don’t live in a vacuum. Our lives hence mean something regarding the broader whole, and whether we like that fact or not, it is still a fact.
So, there are at least two dimensions to consider, possibly more.
Living right in a fervent sort of way brings both personal and interpersonal benefits. It’s win/win. We, in one truthful movement, realise freedom for ourselves and we engender trust, respect, authenticity and a myriad of other virtue in our relating with likeminded others.
And this is perhaps the biggest, most important truth:
“Here we face the uncomfortable fact that truth grows more urgent still when it goes beyond philosophy and theory to address character, morality, and personal history—ours.”
We are inwardly congruent with our known outward personas. Hypocrisy (to any major extent) died long ago. The truth remains.
Truth has a stark personal relevance. It looks us square in the eye, especially to those things we’re appropriately shamed for. It seeks us to rise up in courage to accept and own up to our truth, always, consistently—and only then, move on.
We cannot live freely, and therefore passionately, without first having endured this furnace of fear, a strident undertaking pushing us to, and past, our pride-imbued limits.
And this is precisely why the vast majority won’t or can’t enter in. They will not jettison their pride and look at themselves honestly; they will not embrace a pervading truth-at-all-costs humility.
But, you can!
As the prize, freedom awaits.
© 2009 S. J. Wickham.
Quotes: Os Guinness, Time for Truth – Living Free in a World of Lies, Hype, & Spin (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Hourglass/Baker Books, 2000).