This week I have a meeting with one of our pastors from church. I’m working on a project and we want to make sure the language used in promos and training on this new project will be aligned with the language we use on other promo and training materials. You might call it “mission alignment.” Everyone wins when the message is consistent. No one gets confused.
The Bible’s instruction that “Love rejoices whenever truth wins out,” (1 Corinthians 13:6) is part of assuring mission alignment for Jesus’ followers. Truth means what conforms to God’s standards. It’s integrity in conduct and reality as evidenced in facts. To win out is when we know God’s truth and we act in accordance with it.
Pilot asked Jesus, “What is truth?” (John 14:38) Jesus had just told him, “‘You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.’” Part of Jesus’ very purpose was to tell and show the world what truth is from God’s standards. After all, He’d also said in John 14:6, “‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.’” Jesus’ life was so aligned with God’s mission that His very identity was truth.
John had a lot to say about God’s truth. He began his Gospel with this statement: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”(John 1:14; ESV) Jesus was truth expressed in human flesh. In John 8:32 Jesus said, “‘And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” Knowing and living the truth, God’s truth, sets us free from slavery to our sinful thinking and lifestyles. It’s a great paradox of Scripture that when we submit our will to God’s truth, quit doing only what we want to do, is when we truly become free.
How are we supposed to know what God’s truth is? The Bible has lots to say about truth; over 100 verses. But Jesus also gave us encouragement that we can know what truth is for all of our personal situations. In John 14:17, He introduced us to the One who would come after His death. “‘He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.’” It’s the Holy Spirit’s job to bring mission alignment. He declares and reveals God’s truth. “‘When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.’” (John 16:13) The Holy Spirit always guides us aligned with God’s written Word in the Bible.
The Message paraphrases 1 Corinthians 13:6 as “Love takes pleasure in following the truth.” It’s part of the joy of agape to have mission alignment with God’s very nature through His truth. John put it this way: “Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” (1 John 3:18) Agape calls for action based on the truth.
Read Jenny's thoughts on truth at http://thefivestages.wordpress.com