The Great System of Truth

2 Corinthians 13:8  "For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth." 

Barnes Commentary
For we that is the Apostles.....Can do nothing against the truth ... - That is, we who are under the influence of the Spirit of God; who have been commissioned by him as apostles, can do nothing that shall be against the great system of truth which we are appointed to promulgate and defend. You need, therefore, apprehend no partial or severe discipline from us; no unjust construction of your conduct. Our aim is to promote the truth, and to do what is right; and we cannot, therefore, by any regard to our own reputation, or to any personal advantage, do what is wrong, or countenance, or desire what is wrong in others. We must wish that which is right to be done by others, whatever may be the effect on us - whether we are regarded as apostles or deceivers. I suppose, therefore, that this verse is designed to qualify and confirm the sentiment in the previous verse, that Paul meant to do only right; that he wished all others to do right; and that whatever might be the effect on his own reputation, or however he might be regarded, he could not go against the great system of gospel truth which he preached, or even desire that others should ever do wrong, though it might in any way be for his advantage. It was a fixed principle with him to act only in accordance with truth; to do what was right.

I just spent the last 72 ours challenged with seeing truth from different perspectives. One would think that there is only one way to see the truth. In this broken world it appears that truth can be manipulated and expressed in many ways to suit the one seeking it. My life has always been lived in such a way to seek after truth. As a critical thinker I have to meticulously know how to separate the truth from a lie. The problem though is that my flesh can get in the way. I can believe my truth and while someone else believes their truth. 

In this post-modern world truth has become relative. The gospel declares that there is only one truth. This truth is the radical grace that Jesus gave on the cross when he was crucified in his own weakness. Jesus himself even questioned truth as he stood before pilate. 

My dad and I connected again this weekend (I'll share that story in a future blog) and he shared with me this verse from Corinthians. He keeps a pocket size Bible in his pants pocket with a bookmark inside. On the front of his Bible was this piece of broken paper bag tapped with the scripture from Corinthians. I asked him what did that scripture say and he quoted it word for word, "For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth." That's so incredible coming from a man who has been running the streets for some 30+ years homeless and a drug abuser. 

When I opened up his Bible there it was as bright as day. Since that time, I have been reflecting on my role as a leader and the people God has given me to me lead. I'm commissioned by the Spirit to always operate in truth. Not my truth or someone else's truth but God's truth. As a leader I understand that I must do what is right no matter what the effect may be on my own reputation or how I might be regarded by others. 

Sometimes standing on the truth can make you appear to be weak, untrustworthy, malicious but the fact remains that truth will always find a way to make itself known. I've learned in my 44 years of living, that the truth makes us free. At the end of the day, all you have is your word and if it lines up with His word, then you don't have to worry about what others may think about the truth that you live. 
Peter Watts