I wasn’t really eavesdropping. I was in Chick-fil-a with a cup of coffee and a stack of tests to grade. Three moms sat behind me discussing their children and school. I heard one mom say “Girls are so good about doing their school work. You don’t even have to worry about them.” The other moms made sounds of agreement. Now, I have no doubt this was true for these women. This must have been their experience with their own children. However, I know one very intelligent thirteen-year-old girl for whom the exact opposite is true. Yes, that would be my oldest child.
I had to smile at the huge discrepancy between what these women stated as absolute truth and the reality of my own life. I love my oldest child. She is an amazing young woman, but staying on top of her school work has been a challenge these past two years. She is perfectly content to spend her days reading or writing while homework assignments sit awaiting completion. “C is for content,” is a very telling quote from her this year.
Of course, these women sitting behind me have no knowledge of my daughter. They are unaware that “You don’t even have to worry about them” is not true in our house.
You see, there is a difference between something being true and something being true for you.
True or True for You?
If we use only our own experiences to form a belief of truth, we will often be wrong. We need to expand our questions and thoughts and seek truth to actually find it. If the women at Chick-fil-a had expanded their view just a few tables over, they would have found a fuller truth than what they believed.
I know there have been times that I have based my idea of truth on my own experiences. I’m sure we all have at one time or another. My youngest daughter believed for a long time that boy cats had tails and girl cats didn’t. Why was that? We had two female cats who were born without tails. That was the world she knew. My sister had two boy cats with tails. Then we got a male cat, Pickle, who also had a tail. You can see why a five-year-old would draw this conclusion. However, her belief didn’t make her conclusion true. By expanding her view just a little to find a girl cat with a tail, she discovered that what seemed true to her was not actually true.
To find truth, we have to seek for it. We have to be willing to expand our view and ask questions.
Our God who created us wants us to know truth.
This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:3-4
He sent His son to fully explain His truth to us.
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
Finding truth is a life-long process. It takes being willing to look beyond our own personal experiences. Listening to those moms in Chick-fil-a was humorous to me. Before my oldest child hit middle school, I might have made the same comments myself. I smiled at how much my own view on that subject has expanded these last two years.
However, some false beliefs can be harmful instead of humorous.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” John 14:6
One of my prayers each day is that God will help me to see and correct any beliefs I have that are false. It’s so easy to be deceived into believing only what we see and experience.
I turn daily to God and His word for truth.
Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. John 17:17
I don’t want to believe something is true when it is actually only true for me in my limited experience. If there is a discrepancy between what is true and what I believe, I want to know. Thankfully, God has promised that if we seek, we will find. (Matthew 7:8)
He will help us. We just have to be willing to think, ask, and desire to know truth.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day. Psalm 25:5