What if you lived your whole life and at the end of it all found out that everything you ever stood for and believed in was a lie?
Would it even matter though as long as your convictions, beliefs and “truths” had been generally praised and supported? What if they had been shown off as a shiny example and affirmed by notables? What if everyone in your world comforted you and themselves with the same line and rhetoric?
What if you came to the end and knew what you believed was true, not because it was popularly affirmed, not because it was easy or comfortable but because you asked the cold hard questions and deep down felt the sureness of truth? What if to get to this point you had to reject everything you previously believed? What if no one was on your side or in your corner? What if you would be labeled as wayward or sympathized as a half-baked over compensator?
Would you do it? Would you search for the truth? And if you did would you own that truth?
This is what you have to be willing to do to know for sure what your holding on to is the honest truth.
Sure. You can stumble onto the truth and haphazardly get a thing or two right but how do you really know it’s right unless you are willing to look openly at all the options.
To know you’ve got the truth you have to be willing to have been wrong about everything, wrong down to the bedrock of your person. You have to be willing to accept that other persons, even “the notables”, could be wrong too. You have to ask the questions you are afraid to ask and really hear the answers... even if they come from “the other side”.
The night I realized I might be wrong my heart nearly stopped. I stood in the tension of the moment, tears streaming down my face, realizing the gravity of what it would mean. I could keep asking questions and if I did then my whole life might change. I could become at odds with the majority of my safe world. And what about the following I had drawn while megaphoning myself over the web? What if I was wrong and had let them down? Or I could just stop.
Stop. Right. There.
Stop asking. Stop searching.
Stop. Stop. Stop.
Never know. Keep going in the same applauded direction. Unquestioningly drawing from the same sources.
That would be safer. Condoned. Comfortable.
But it might not be true...
I knew I had to make a choice. I decided I couldn’t live with the constant dripping of knowing that I had the chance to find out what was really true and didn’t take it.
So I kept asking questions because the truth can handle it and anything means nothing if it’s not true.
What I saw, when I dared to look, did change my life. Completely. Some changes were anticipated, some were not. Some fears never came to fruition, some did. Some things I had held to I still hold to, others I had to let go. Even in the mess of it all one thing is for certain, it was worth it.
Never be afraid to interrogate Scripture... God’s Word can handle it. Don't limit yourself to Sunday School questions or pat answers. Ask hard things, wrong things and only settle for Truth no matter what others may think. Always remember that just because someone with an authoritative voice and a cult following said it doesn't necessarily mean it's true. Be brave enough to have been wrong. Be pure enough to seek Truth no matter the cultural, relational or political repercussions.
“It’s not capitulating to culture to change your mind based on new information. It’s wisdom.” -Rachel Held Evans*
“If you continue in My word, you really are My disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” -John 8:31-32