In math class you were often instructed to “show your work” so the teacher could see the steps you took to arrive at your answer. However the steps you took to arrive at your answer really didn’t matter if you got the answer wrong, wouldn’t you agree?
Shakespeare’s famous line from Hamlet, “To thine own self be true … ” is often used by people in defense of themselves living by their own personal philosophy. People even to go as far as to tattoo the words on their body. Everyone must live in accordance with their own “personal truth” and in turn “know thyself”. However, what if our personal truth is the wrong one? What if our personal truth keeps us in bondage instead of giving us freedom?
Life, the universe, and all of creation seems to operate with mathematical precision, full of what appear to be immutable laws. To me this suggests that there are concrete answers to the big questions of life–like where do we come from? What is the purpose of life? And where are we going when we die?
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
He also said: “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:13-14).
There’s really no way to confuse these messages, Jesus clearly taught that He is the ONLY way to God. So if we have come to our own personal truth that “all roads lead to the same God”, or any other personal “truth” that says something contradictory to this statement, there is clearly someone who is right and someone who is wrong. I believe it’s clear that even though we might be able to “show our work” and give our own explanation of why we feel our answer is correct, any answer that leads us away from Jesus is the wrong one.
However a good teacher usually won’t just mark an answer wrong with a big red X and then leave us there. The purpose of “showing our work” is to have the teacher be able to go through our logic step by step and show us where we made an error.
The Word of God will do the same thing for us. By reading it and becoming familiar with what it says, the errors of our thinking can be corrected, the blinders can be taken off and the truth can shine through.
I recently heard on a radio program that, “Human knowledge must be understood to be believed, however divine knowledge must be believed to be understood.”
So, if we want to fully be able to say that our “truth” is right, I believe we must first be able to consider that our truth is wrong. In other words if we aren’t currently following Christ, maybe we should start by just having the courage to consider that He IS the ONLY way. We should realize that if we believe in and follow Him in this life and end up being “wrong” it would cost us nothing, but if we deny Him and it was only He that is “right” then it will cost us everything.
“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).
“The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”
(1 Corinthians 2:14)
The Apostle Paul clearly let us know that the truth is foolish to those who don’t have the spirit of God on their side. God uses the “foolish to confound the wise.” (1 Corinthians 1:27)
Are you experiencing the true freedom that comes from this “foolishness” or are you still bewildered and burdened by your intellect? What would you lose if you considered that Jesus is the only way to God?