No matter how we label ourselves – Christian, non-Christian, Atheist, Agnostic etc – we have all chosen to believe something. In this sense, everyone is a believer. The only difference is in what we choose to believe. From the point to ponder, it is not out of the question to say that the right kind of believing will create the right kind of life. Conversely, the wrong kind of believing will create the wrong kind of life. The three things that influence our belief in life are opinions, facts, and truths. The one we engage in the most will ultimately determine the course of our lives.
Opinions are born out of our mode of thought, our life experiences, our fears and insecurities, our general understanding of the world around us, and the stories told to us. Hence, everybody has an opinion. While everyone is entitled to an opinion, we should not use opinions as the basis of our decision-making. The issue with opinion is the how they are formed. Opinions are formed based on how we process information. There lies the problem: Many people process information differently.
For example, if you and I are exposed to a particular situation, our experience (what we feel) of the situation may be different depending on who we are and our make-up. This makes the description of what we experience differ. This in turn makes our opinions differ. Thus we see that opinions may very well have nothing to do with what is true or what is the truth about a situation. Opinions are always biased and cannot be trusted!
Just because someone has an opinion (about you) does not make it true or the truth (about you)
Facts are those things that can be proven. Hence, facts are things that are true. We are all taught to make decisions based on facts. Yet facts without context can lead to the wrong decision. If you heard that a man killed another man, it is a fact that the man is killer. But what if you found out that the man killed a man who was trying to kill the president of the U.S. Though is remains a fact (true) that the man is a killer, the truth is that he is a hero. By this we see that the facts do not always lead us to the truth.
Just because we have all wet our beds or diapers before in life does not mean that we identify as bed-wetters. Just because it is true that Jesus was a man does not mean that he just a man. The truth is that He is God. It may be a fact that you made a mistake. Yet, the truth is that you are not a mistake!
Here is the problem with facts. Facts change over time! Hence, what is true today may not be true tomorrow. While it is a fact that Lebron James is the best basketball player right now (based on stats), even this fact will change. To make decisions based on the facts is to make decisions on something that changes. We must never make permanent decisions based on temporary situations!
Just because something is true (about you) today does not mean it is the truth (about you)
Truths are those things that remain unchanged regardless of time and situation. What we get from truths are laws and principles by which we lead our lives. To be a person of principle is to be a person of character. A person who operates by the truth is predictable. This person also gets predictable results in life. A person of principle is trustworthy and does not change – and so is a natural candidate for leadership positions.
A person of true character stands for what is right regardless of consequence. The bible tells us that the word from the Lord is right and that all His works are done in truth (Psalm 33:4). Hence the only way to be a man of truth (a man of true character) is to be a man who is devoted to obeying the word of the Lord. This means we must know which is truth. We must be students of the word of God.
Many men have chosen to live by the truth over thousands of years and have achieved the same result – success and victory – time and again. Think of Daniel who went from being a slave to being the second in command of the Persian empire. How about Joseph who went from the underbelly of the dungeon to the palace of the king. How about a carpenter becoming the savior of the world? See, truths allow us to achieve the impossible!
To live life by the facts is to live by what we see; to live life by the truth is to live life trusting that the immutable principles of God will achieve great results. Hence to live life by the truth is to live a life of faith. Facts, if taken out of context can place us in bondage, but the truth will always set us free.
Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life! So chose to live your life in Him