Thursday, August 26

My soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times. Psalm 119:20

Spend some time in personal confession today; bring the sin, fear, anger, and anxieties of your heart before the light of his love and forgiveness.

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 14:5-6

Those of you who pay attention to professional gold will recognize this story. Last weekend a golfer named Dustin Johnson lost his chance to win a major tournament when he unknowingly violated an obscure rule by barely touching his club to the ground while in what was identified as a sand trap (although it looked little like a traditional bunker) while playing the last hole of the tournament. Although he finished the course in an apparent tie for the lead, he was approached by a tournament official who asked him a simple question. “Did you ground your club before that shot?” Johnson answered truthfully that, yes, he had grounded his club. The result was a 2-stroke penalty that cost him a chance to compete in a playoff with two other golfers tied for the lead.

To me this is not just a story about golf and an opportunity lost, it’s a story about the nature of truth.

All truth is exclusive. As human beings we know this is so. We know that it cannot simultaneously be true that Mr. Johnson’s club touched the ground AND that it did not touch the ground. We know that he cannot have won the golf tournament while at the same time finishing in 5th place. We know that one cannot trust the truth of gravity to hold a car on the road while at the same time jump off the roof hoping it will not also apply to your body!

But when it comes to spiritual truth – many fight against the exclusivity of truth. They read Jesus’ words, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” and they say, “How can there be only one way?” Or maybe they think, “How can Christians be so arrogant and exclusive?” Or even, “Don’t all roads lead to God?”

The truth is that all roads DON’T lead to God any more than all roads lead to Wisconsin. Just as some physical roads lead to California, some spiritual roads lead to destruction. Just because I might sincerely believe I am driving to Wisconsin, if I am heading west I will wind up in California. Spiritual truth is like that. Jesus claims to be the only way to God. That cannot be true and untrue at the same time. Jesus cannot be the only way to God while simultaneously affirming that “all roads lead to God.”

Someone said it this way: as human beings we do not create truth, we discover truth. Truth - whether it be a road map, gravity, or Jesus - simply is what it is. And we must either accept it and build our lives on it, or fight against it by insisting on creating our own truth.

Have you discovered and trusted the truth of Christ? Have you learned to see, hear and identify that which is untrue? Do you have family members or friends who are still trying to create their own spiritual truth? Ask God to continue to anchor his word and his truth in your heart and mind – and ask him to help you share that truth gently and effectively with others.

Brian Coffey

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