Three sides to every story: Yours, mine and the truth
What happens when you don’t like one burger joint? You can go to another.
What happens if you are clothes shopping and don’t like one shirt? You can pick another.
What happens if “the truth” is not something you agree with? You can create your own truth.
Or can you?
The problem is here: the other burger is still a burger; the other shirt is still a shirt; but anything other than THE truth is not THE TRUTH.
Have you ever said, “Don’t lie to me. Tell me the truth”? Not “your,” “my,” his/hers/its … THE truth.
Truth doesn’t change because we want it to, or because it’s inconvenient or opposes our beliefs. Truth is immutable, unchanging, always the same.
The problem is not that truth changes, but that our opinions change.
“My truth” is usually used to describe my experience, my beliefs, my goals, etc., emphasizing that they are mine. However, the emphasis most often moves from the word “my” to the word “truth” — believing these things are true and cannot be changed.
But they can. And they do.
My truth, in the first sense, used to be that I was a full-time pastor and was going to remain in that career/ministry for the rest of my life. It was my calling, my destiny and my “truth.”
Now I know that’s not the case. For one, I am no longer a full-time minister, and haven’t been for close to a decade now. I returned to retail sales and now work as a writer and editor. Did my truth change? The truth about what I did for a career certainly did.
One could argue that my truth was always that I would be a writer. I wrote multiple articles, sermons, lessons, presentations, etc. as a minister. I wrote sales pitches as a retail sales specialist. I wrote freelance articles for a newspaper and magazine. I wrote a couple of blogs. I wrote stories for my wife and children. I’ve been writing at least since third grade, when I entered story contests almost every week during the school year.
You could argue that my truth was always that I was a writer — I just didn’t know it. My truth didn’t change. The truth about me didn’t change.
That’s possible, because truth does not change.
Our perception of what is happening and why does change.
I believe Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God, the Savior of anyone who trusts and follows him. This is either the truth or it isn’t. There’s no middle ground. It cannot — I repeat, it cannot — be true for one person and not for another. He either is or is not. One day we will all know the truth.
I’m confident enough in Jesus to trust him as Truth, even when nothing else stays constant or makes sense. I believe he holds up to intense scrutiny, as long as the scrutiny recognizes that something is either true or not.
You make the decision on this and everything else in life. You either trust what proves to be truth and dismiss as false anything that does not stand up, or you embrace something that changes with the times, circumstances and your emotions — “your truth.”
As the band Extreme said in a 1992 song, there are “three sides to every story — yours, mine and the truth.”
Brett Campbell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.