Sunday, April 17, 2016
"On Fire": What a Man Who's THE TRUTH Looks/Lives/Loves Like
Some of you probably know...
That soul artist India.Arie penned the foreward for my first book Inside of Me. It came about because I was one of the first official interviews she had before her first CD dropped (had a demo copy and everything!). We connected and stayed in touch for a while because of that.
Years later, one of her producers became a close friend of the family. Life is a trip.
Anyway, one of my favorite songs of hers is "The Truth".
If you're not familiar, here is the chorus and outro:
Cause he is the truth
Said he is so real
And I love the way that he makes me feel
And if I am a reflection of him
Then I must be fly
Cause his light, it shines so bright
I wouldn't lie, no
There ain't no substitute for the truth
Either it is or it isn't
'Cause he is the truth
You see the truth it needs no proof
Either it is or it isn't
'Cause he is the truth
And you know the truth by the way it feels
This song was on repeat a lot throughout the weekend...
I was listening to it through a spiritual perspective (I Corinthians 2:14)...
THE MAN SHE LOVES IS THE TRUTH
THE MAN SHE LOVES HAS A BRIGHT SHINING LIGHT
THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR THE TRUTH
Truth: the true or actual state of a matter; conformity with fact or reality; verity; the state or character of being true; actuality or actual existence; honesty; integrity; truthfulness
It's pretty deep if you can say your man is *the truth*...
From a spiritual angle...
That he is true.
That he conforms to biblical facts.
That his character is true (Colossians 3:12-17).
That he---and the relationship---actually exists.
That he is full of honesty and integrity.
Since the Word tells us to NOT yoke ourselves to non-believers (2 Corinthians 6:11-18), that if we claim to be believers ourselves, we're not even supposed to eat with fornicators (I know, right?--I Corinthians 5:11, Ephesians 5:5), then off top, a man who does not live by biblical truth cannot qualify as being "the truth".
So, what does a man who is "The Truth" look like?
It's a book! For now, here are seven things to keep in mind, though.
He's a Disciple
"Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, 'If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.'"---John 8:31-32(NKJV)
He's a man who abides by ALL of the Word because all of the Word is relevant and necessary. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us so. And since he's a Word-abider, that means he takes Matthew 16:24(NKJV) very seriously: "Then Jesus said to His disciples, 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.'" You can't be a disciple and be selfish (Philippians 2:3). You can't be a disciple and not be willing to "suffer for the right" (I Peter 3:14). You know what else? This means you should be able to see fruit (Matthew 12:33) of him being a disciple because Christ once instructed his disciples to do the following things: "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give." (Matthew 10:8--NKJV) You should see *evidence* of him making people's lives better...not worse, you included. A disciple loves and love does no harm---physically, emotionally, spiritually, sexually or morally---to its neighbor (Romans 13:8-10), after all.
"I will present profound arguments for the righteousness of my Creator. I am telling you nothing but the truth, for I am a man of great knowledge."---Job 36:3-4(NLT)
Proverbs 9:10(NKJV) says "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." He's a man who isn't just well-read but spends time seeking the Father's will (Matthew 7:7-8) and studying to show himself approved because the Word tells us to do that (2 Timothy 2:15--AMPC). If you're with a man you have to ask to pray, drag to worship and beg to mature spiritually (Hebrews 5:12-14)...something is very *very* wrong. If he's not spiritually intentional now, he's *the last man* you need to submit to later (Colossians 3:18).
He Has a Good Reputation
"Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts."---Psalm 15:2(NLT)
Now I'll put a disclaimer up. A man (or woman) who is righteous is going to be despised by the world and worldly people (John 15:18&19, 17:6-19). Meaning, you have to consider the source of the hate. I'm never comfortable or convinced by people who claim---or worse believe---that everyone likes them. If that's the case, either they are very disingenuous or not as strong in the Word as they need to be. The world likes their own, not those who stand for the right. So, this doesn't mean that he's never talked about or that the truth he speaks may not offend from time to time (Hebrews 3:13). What it does mean, however, is that he seeks to live the kind of life where he's not fodder for gossip, that he tries to do the right thing rather than the popular one (Luke 6:26--Message) and he speaks "truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15), as much as possible.
He's Not a Commitment-Phobe
"Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne. Unfailing love and truth walk before you as attendants."---Psalm 89:14(NLT)
When I pen devos for Marital Covenant Thursdays, one of the things I oftentimes say is divorced people (Malachi 2:16) should repent to God and their ex for saying "I love you" but it not being the truth. I Corinthians 13:8 tells us that "Love does not fail." This means that when we tell someone "I love you", a part of what we're essentially saying is "I'm not going to fail you. Even if you fail me." That's how God loves us: "The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: 'Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.'" (Jeremiah 31:3--NKJV) and "Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'" (Hebrews 13:5--NKJV) A man who's the truth is ever-striving to not fail in love or in truth. He's committed to both. No expiration date.
He's a Truth Speaker
"But this is what you must do: Tell the truth to each other. Render verdicts in your courts that are just and that lead to peace. Don’t scheme against each other. Stop your love of telling lies that you swear are the truth. I hate all these things, says the Lord."---Zechariah 8:16-17(NLT)
We already touched on this a bit, but it's worth going in a big deeper. A truth speaker isn't only "not a liar". A truth speaker is not going to compromise biblical truth *no matter what*! He's going to tell the truth, he's not going to compromise the truth and he's also (catch it) not going to be pressured to say something that is not true. I know far too many women who try and manipulate or force or seduce a man into getting her own way (that's a spirit of witchcraft, by the way). A man who's a truth speaker is going to GOD FIRST (James 1:5) about 1) if you are the right woman for him; 2) if it's time to tell you so and 3) when it's time to move forward. He doesn't create or succumb to schemes. (And good for him for that!)
He Is Not Moved by Cultural Shifts in the Church
"I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved."---Matthew 5:18(NLT)
Have heaven and earth passed away yet? OK, so the law is still relevant then! No time to get into how poorly this has been taught in so many churches. Just remember that a man who is the truth knows that Christ said this: "If you love Me, keep My commandments...He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him." (John 14:15&21--NKJV) So what that the global Church is allowing the world to influence (or is it bully?) it to the point that it's chipping away more and more of the Word to suit man? A man who's the truth also knows that the praises of God mean more than the praises of man (John 12:43).
He's LIGHT in the World
"You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."---Matthew 5:13-14(NKJV)
The Hebrew word for light is "or". It also means "to shine". A man who is the truth is a shining light because God's Word is "a lamp and a light" (Psalm 119:105) and because his *good deeds* are evident to those around him (including you). He knows that the Word states that it's not enough to offer lip service; he must *take action* (I John 3:18). And he doesn't do it for credit or bragging rights on social media either. He's aware that charitable deeds are best done in secret (Matthew 6:1).
He Doesn't Settle for a Woman Who Is Also Not "The Truth"
"Do two walk together except they make an appointment and have agreed?"---Amos 3:3(AMPC)
As I'm learning some things via the love journey I'm on, I'll tell you what I discern (Proverbs 2) is one of the most arrogant things a woman can say: "I'm waiting on 'him' to get ready." Honey, ain't no woman waiting on a man to get himself together! For one thing, the Word tells us to *wait on the Lord*; to put our hope in him (Psalm 39:7). Secondly, to say that you're waiting on someone else basically implies you're good and you don't have stuff you could stand to improve on as well. Any woman who is disillusioned enough to believe that is going to be a real handful as a wife someday! As you're looking for/waiting on a man who is truly "the truth", make sure that you're using the time in your singleness to become *the truth*! As the lead quote says, a healthy couple makes one another stronger---not weaker---than they were on their own.
If you're currently in a relationship and you can't say that about "him"...well...
I think you can finish the sentence.
Walk and love IN TRUTH.