Voice and Vision

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40: Truth

A new year. New hopes. My hope is that truth will matter more to everyone. Truth has been under assault. All one has to do is read or listen to the news. Yet nothing is more important than truth. It deserves better treatment. Honoring truth is a worthy undertaking for everyone–essential if we care about democracy, freedom, justice, honesty, reality.

Truth is defined in Noah Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language 1828 as follows: “1. Conformity to fact or reality; exact accordance with that which is, or has been, or shall be.  2. True state of fact or things… 3. Conformity of words to thoughts, which is called moral truth.  4. Veracity; purity from falsehood; practice of speaking truth; habitual disposal to speak truth; as when we say, a man is a man of truth. 5. Correct opinion.  6. Fidelity; constancy.7. Honesty; virtue. 8. Exactness; conformity to rule. 9. Real fact or just principle; real state of things. 10.  Sincerity.  God is a spirit, and they that worship him must worship in spirit and in truth. John iv. 11.The truth of God, is his veracity and faithfulness. Ps. lxxi. 12. Jesus Christ is called the truth. John xiv. 13. It is sometimes used by way of concession . . . what you have said I admit to be true. In truth, in reality; in fact. Of a truth, in reality; certainly. To do truth, is to practice what God commands. John iii.”

One could ponder this definition for months, even years. There is much to think about in every bit. Especially today when roaming falsehoods are called truth, lies are accepted, and concocted stories serve devious purpose.  By multitudinous repetitions, untruths aim to become truth–and are so taken by deluded individuals.

We must not slip into muddied waters but stand on the strong rock of truth. Truth holds us up; gives courage, guidance, direction. We cannot live well without it. In its absence, we fail to function. We fool ourselves if we think otherwise.

Webster relates truth to morality (#3), purity (#4), and honesty (#7).  His 7th synonym reminds me of this favorite line: “Honesty is spiritual power; dishonesty is human weakness which forfeits divine help.”  Lack of truth is weakness that makes us unfaithful to our Creator.

Webster’s last point in his definition reminds us to live God’s commands: To do truth, is to practice what God commands. Do we really grasp that? Do we see that our very functioning, our daily life, requires truth? Truth is not really optional. It is essential.

Truth compels our identity as a child of God, a real and precious state of being. Truth leads us into a divine passage where light destroys whatever darkness with which we may be struggling. As we stand up for truth it lifts us up. It should always be our standard, our cause, our reality, and the radiant fact of existence.

I am not finished with truth. Truth is a topic that could fill every page I write. In fact, I hope it does.

Truth's Light, oil, 14" x 11" $475 by Gwendolyn Evans

Truth’s Light, oil, 14″ x 11″ $475 by Gwendolyn Evans

About the artwork: Truth’s Light, oil, 14″ x 11″ $475. I seek truth every time I pick up a paintbrush. Whether it is visual truth of light and shadow or something more profound, intangible, eternal. I don’t think an artist can paint without a truthful conscience.  In this piece I use primary colors–reds, yellow, blues to show the primal importance of truth. The energy of diagonal movement in the piece speaks to truth’s vibrancy. The yellow glow suggests the radiant light truth always brings.

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