Up Close and Personal

Up Close and Personal

posted in: Inspiration | 1

Girl Taking SelfieIsn’t it interesting that usually when people talk about absolute truth they speak in generalities?  As if to be absolute a fact has to establish a stereotype and so act as a precursor to prejudice?

In this worldview, the believer asserts that God sees all people in the most vague and categorical ways.  And so, to be an agent of God in this view, one must adopt a long litany of preconceptions and classifications that allow the faithful to parse the actions and decisions of others into simplistic buckets of good and bad based upon these “absolute” truths.

I would like to suggest that far from being the truth, this view of the absolute truth has been at the root of every abuse of religion in history.  Every time those who seek power have enslaved the faithful to their false message of hatred, violence, and greed, every time evil has found its platform in the pulpit of a church, or a righteous zeal for the destruction or damnation of others has become the supposed gospel message, every time religion has served the purposes of people instead of the purposes of God — I would like to suggest that these attacks of the enemy always start with an assertion about the generality of absolute truth as some sort of convoluted divine sense of stereotypical moral righteousness.

So long as generalities, preconceptions, and stereotypes are thought to be the best descriptors of God’s vision, God’s answers, God’s perspective, and God’s view of the human race and all of the individuals involved, the religions that follow these beliefs will be corruptible, prone to violence, and easily diverted from preaching the actual absolute truth.

The actual absolute truth is not a generality.

The actual absolute truth is up close and personal.

The actual absolute truth is universal because it is specific, accurate, insightful, and particular.

Far from being in conflict with your ability to observe it scientifically, the actual absolute truth is evidenced everywhere in life and in creation.  Every fact, objective observation, and unbiased conclusion contributes to your understanding and acceptance of the rich fabric and refulgent splendor that the absolute truth reveals.

Far from being the force behind prejudice and discrimination, the absolute truth is God’s passionate pursuit of leading all people to love, to inspire, to support, to encourage, to heal, to restore, to build, and to prosper together.

The absolute truth is not divisive, it is what connects us — it is, truly, universal.

I’m sure you’ve heard that there is nothing so uncommon as common sense.  I wonder if this observation is actually just a reflection on our struggle as people to embrace the simplest and most apparent absolute truths.

The fact is, that while truth may be absolute and incontrovertible, the enemy wants to twist it, pervert it, and destroy it by misapplying it, lying about it, generalizing it, and demanding irrational and evil responses to it.

This is why the enemy is named “Satan” in the Bible, which literally means “the accuser”.  Because they see in the truth the opportunity to accuse, persecute, judge, and condemn — where in that same truth, God sees the opportunity to love, empower, save, and bless.

Take as an example the fact that people are different — different genders, different races, different experiences, different abilities, and so on.  The enemy sees this as an opportunity to sow hatred and division, stir up violence and put an end to cooperation.  As anyone who has worked as part of a team can attest, the enemy wants to limit the success of the team by instilling a sense of entitlement, a sense of injustice, and an irrational desire to contribute less than their maximum available effort in the members of the team by appealing to each team member’s sense of equity, self-interest, and estimation of what is owed to them by the other members of the team.

What’s interesting is that the same differences that the enemy sees as an opportunity to divide us, God sees as the intentional creation of the required components for a robust and prosperous solution.  As any biologist can tell you, biodiversity is the foundation of resilience.  Our ability to survive and thrive as a species springs from the unique mix of capabilities that we were each created by God to contribute.

You have the unique opportunity to make the world a better place because you are a part of it.

You have the unique ability to make an impact because there is no one else where you are, when you are, how you are, what you are, and who you are.

This is the absolute truth — God created you on purpose, specifically, uniquely, particularly, and beautifully.  There is no one like you, and you have something to offer that no one else can bring.

You bring love.  You bring insight.  You bring connection.  You bring relationship.  You bring grace.  You bring intimacy.  You bring friendship.  You bring power.  You bring opportunity.  You bring effort.  You bring the presence of God.

The absolute truth is not some sort of arbitrary generality against which we all are measured, the absolute truth is the fabric into which we all are woven and the potential by which we are all empowered.

The absolute truth is God’s view of us, each and every one of us.

You are precious.  You are unique.  You are necessary.  You are loved.

God is looking for every opportunity to bring every human being into His embrace and empower them to realize the full potential of who they are — every human being.

God feels the loss deeply, persistently, and specifically when the enemy violates, obstructs, abuses, and enslaves any human being — any.

God is offering salvation, life, healing, restoration, fulfillment, success, blessing, prosperity, peace, and joy to all human beings — all.

The absolute truth is up close and personal — it bridges every divide and overcomes every obstacle, it loves and empowers, it connects and embraces, it heals and restores, it reveals and inspires, it leads and encourages, it defends and it saves because the absolute truth is God’s.

The absolute truth is not petty or divisive, hateful or violent, prejudiced or subjective.

The absolute truth is grace, life, love, and the perfect combination of every unique individual contribution into a beautiful and effective whole.

The absolute truth is what God sees, what God offers, and what God believes.

So, the next time you hear the voices preaching violence, hatred, division, fear, anger, and defeat know this — they do not speak for God, they do not represent God, they may not even know God, and you can be sure that if it doesn’t sound like good news, it is not the gospel message.

God’s message is love.

God’s truth is grace.

God’s vision is unity.

God’s promise is life.

God’s answer is joy.

God’s mission is salvation.

God’s offering is prosperity, health, fulfillment, and success for all.

This is the objective fact, this is the absolute truth — and it is universal because it is specific, up close, and personal to you and everyone else.

“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” – John 13

Follow Steve Simons:

Christian Speaker, Author, Pastor, Leader. "God's Answers Are Always Simple. God's Answers Always Work." Sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ, the one and only God.

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One Response

  1. clarkechols

    This is a powerful and timely reminder that it is not that I have to be “right,” it is that I have to love. And that means loving those actively responding to a fear of loss. Thanks, Steve.

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