The Search For Truth
The Pursuit of Happiness
In a 1997 movie entitled ‘Liar-Liar,’ the protagonist was played by Jim Carrey. Jim played the role of a lawyer who built his entire career on lying but finds himself cursed to speak only the truth for a single day. I cannot say I have survived a day of absolute truth. I exaggerate, joke, or embellish. I must work on a cure for that. Imagine a world of truth without deceit, coercion, misinformation, trickery, skullduggery, or quick-talking.
We were listening to a Charlie Kirk podcast on a road trip to the Black Hills. Charlie Kirk is the Founder and President of Turning Point USA, a national student movement that empowers young people to promote the principles of free markets and limited government and has the Charlie Kirk podcast. Charlie pointed out we all need to “never lie and never accept a lie.” This guiding direction would kill capitalism because every product markets a lie—”You will be a new, improved person if you purchase this.” Marketing is exaggerated promises to sell a product or service. We buy it anyway, knowing it will not bring us happiness. The truth would decimate political, social, racial, and spiritual divides. Before this could happen is an agreement of, “What is Truth?”
What is truth? Is truth a universal constant or purely subjective and flexible to our perceptions.? Big words define the pursuit of truth. Epistemology is the theory of knowledge. Epistemology, in general, is concerned with how people should go about trying to determine what is true and what are the facts on selected topics. Veritas is the Latin word for truth. Place them together, and you have— Veritistic Epistemology, which in my simple mind, means truthfully seeking truth. More eloquently said, seeking the truth without preference for the outcome, to seek truth without bias. Keep in mind that is a Jim Bondly definition. My definition is an easier read than Aristotle’s:
“To say of what is that it is not, or of what is not that it is, is false, while to say of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not, is true.”— Aristotle.
Where would we start our pursuit of truth? Truth begins with self-examination. We are conducting a “truthful” examination of ourselves in a mirror. Realize our weaknesses’ and biases. Maybe what you would see is a racist, misogynist, thief, greedy, jealous a liar. When the accurate assessment is complete, we can find the truth and, in finding it, Freedom, liberty, contentment, and happiness.
Enough of the big words. I am hungry to find the truth because I know the truth will set me free of my own imagination of facts. We all have a desire to understand the world around us. As babies, with our inborn curiosity and fascination with all things we touch, eat, hear and see, we fact find and empirically determine a hot pan is hot. My search as an older man starts with the most beautiful promises ever made: a loving God offering eternal life, heaven with Him, and an abundant life on earth. I have considered most interpretations of History, Archeology, and the sciences: Cosmology, Biology, Astrophysics, Geology, Medicine, and Eschatology (Prophesies of the Bible), looking for absolute truth. I tried a “common sense” pragmatic view (if it quacks, it is a duck) and a more rigorous investigation for truth. I have prayed for discernment, the God-Given ability to cut through the lies. I can see the results in knowing and seeing the truth in today’s deceit-filled times. You may ask, “What did you become do to earn this discernment?” I read and prayed over Matthew 18 and Micah 6:8—
At that time, the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted, and as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven, therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.
He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?
What does God mean by we need to convert and become as little children? Until they reach the age of the lie, most children are truthful; they say what is on their minds. Then they discover the lie will get them out of trouble. Newborns are innocent and have not sinned, and are humble by nature. They only exist by the love of their father and mother. In God’s words, he says we must be broken in sin and come to him with a contrite heart as new children under His grace.
What does God mean to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with Him? To do justly requires truth in all circumstances, love mercy requires forgiveness and compassion, and Walking with God means including God’s guidance in everything we do. Humbly walk means in reverence and awe of God. It became apparent I would find truth by knocking on God’s door and seeking His wisdom and leadership. God even sent us an example of what this resembles—the life of Jesus Christ—doing all of it with a contrite heart.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise.—Psalm 51:17
By God’s direction, we will always be able to find the truth if we eliminate bias and seek it as little children lacking subjective truth. God has left us truth breadcrumbs to follow. Historical, Archeological, Biological, Logical, Weather, and everything we see daily. Above all things, God imprinted truth in us when He created us in his image:
“Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply;
fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” — Genesis 1:26-28
Truth is in our DNA. A non-believer would argue that I am biased as a believer in God—so be it. I say that the non-believer has never investigated God. God told us to knock on the door, seek Him, and we will find Him and the truth:
Ask, Seek, Knock— Matthew 7:7-7:8
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
The concept of God, a creator of everything, is a conundrum of faith and facts. Faith in God is the relationship; facts speak the truth. Scientific discoveries in Archeology, Biology, Logic, Astrophysics, and Medicine point to God; God screams from every rock. The most powerful fact is the abundance of prophetic portions of God’s word that have become realized millennia later. Libraries are filled with facts about God and the arguments against a creator. I will leave this for now. Onto the title of this essay, “The Search For Truth Is The Pursuit of Happiness.” e
In a recent writing, I quoted the Declaration of Independence, and the bold areas captured my attention:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The truths are self-evident, and we are endowed with these truths from our creator. These truths are self-evident, based on the facts that are presented. America’s founding fathers explicitly linked Truth, God, and the pursuit of happiness. America has maintained God’s blessing because we walked with God in everything we did; even our currency stated, “In God We Trust.” America has gone astray and abandoned the foundations that made us a great nation, one nation under God. Traveling across the country paints a picture of a dying country. It is not too late to save America; it is easy—go back to what made us the admired nation, one built upon God, and walk humbly with Him. Consistently placing truth above desire, doing all things justly, and loving mercy.
Jesus said it in John 8:
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”
Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever sins is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
In closing, the simple equation reads: God’s Truth equals Freedom, and Freedom is Happiness and Joy.
In a previous essay, I stated that contentment is happiness because greed entered the first man’s sin. Greed is the enemy of joy. Happiness has become an insatiable attainment. There is always greener grass elsewhere and shiny new things everywhere. So if you want to be happy, be content in Christ Jesus. Be grateful for each day and moment. Become God’s redeemed child, and go to Him with a broken, contrite heart pursuing truth always. As I follow God, I do my best to seek the objective truth, but my faith is the most significant factor in finding the truth.
Never lie, or accept a lie. May your discernment always find Veritas—Truth!