A few years ago, something was taken from me that I loved. I have suffered with digestive issues for much of my adult life, on and off. If I experience much stress, apparently my weak point is my stomach. Anyway, I began to suffer an extra measure of pain, nausea, and other unpleasant symptoms that led me to investigate the source. At that time, I really enjoyed having a glass of milk, particularly before bed at night. However, this came to a stop once I realized that milk was the culprit behind my issues. My stomach no longer responded well to it.
Fast forward to a couple of weekends ago. I decided to give milk a try. This was not the first time I decided to see if it still bothered me. I really miss it and keep hoping that one day my body will respond well to it again. However, this was not the case. I slept about 2 hours that night due to those same old symptoms that I had experienced a few years ago.
All the positive thinking in the world cannot overpower what is true.
I told myself it would be different this time, but it wasn’t. I wished I could drink milk again without my body rejecting it, but it still did. All the positive thinking in the world couldn’t have made my body change its response to milk. Yeah, I could “push through” and drink it anyway. However, that would not be worth it. What little joy I might would get in drinking it would be washed away 45-60 minutes later when my stomach started churning.
The truth is, if our perspective and thoughts are not based on truth, positive thinking does not change anything long-term. It may make us feel good in the moment, but there will be a moment of reckoning when reality hits.
So what are we to do? Are we to just mope around in pessimism, always expecting the worst? Without positive thinking, isn’t that all that’s left? NO, thankfully there’s something else…something much more substantial and reliable.
We can rely on truth.
Truth is the one thing we can focus on that will not let us down. It is what it is, and it does not change. Sometimes it stings when we are confronted with it, but it helps us to embrace reality. It encourages us to live our lives freely as who we really are. It also helps us avoid some phony happy-go-lucky perspective that is no more than a bold faced lie that will eventually leave us feeling anxious and frustrated (and possibly with a sour stomach).
It’s often difficult to want the truth and to see it in our everyday lives. The challenge is for us to love and seek truth rather than settling for the phony stuff that is tempting to fall for. We must trust that truth is more trustworthy than our feelings at times. Truth is more valuable and pays more dividends than telling ourselves what we want to hear.
Truth is more than just something to learn about and apply in our lives.
God is the source of truth. Only in Him can we embrace it and live it out. Jesus referred to himself as “the Truth”. Since He personalized “truth”, it is not just a cold theological term, rule to follow, or task to complete. Truth is relational. It is something we discover, learn, and cultivate in our lives with God and others. Truth is comforting, a place to rest, someone we can depend on, and it frees us to be who we really are. It reveals our true identity (who God says we are). Trusting in the truth leads us to see ourselves, others, God, and the world around us with a whole new, colorful perspective. If positive thinking was an old black and white television, truth is a brand new 75 inch HD OLED television with HDR (for those of you who are not tech-savvy, that is a really nice television).
Two weekends ago, I found out that milk still bothers me. However, the truth is there are many things in this world I thoroughly enjoy. Some of them have yet to be discovered. I don’t need milk to be happy. I will miss it, but I will look forward to other things in my life that will likely prove to be more beneficial and satisfying. Tossing milk to the side is hard for me, but it is a small thing in comparison to what some of us are facing. I pray we are able to embrace Him, His Truth, and His love in the midst of whatever situation we are in. Instead of merely telling ourselves something positive, let’s positively tell ourselves the truth.
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