Have you ever wondered about what is true and what is not true – like how do you know what the real truth is? I don’t mean asking Alexa if tomatoes or zucchini are fruits (technically they are – a post for another day). I am talking about the hard questions – Should you keep the change that a cashier gave you that is too much? Is it ok to speed (everyone else does)? Should you add extra deductions on you income tax return? Should you have a lunch with your assistant (of the opposite sex), even tho you am married? One little lie won’t hurt anything will it? Or, you were given 3 donuts but only paid for 2 – should you say something?
Why is it that one person thinks the extra donut is a ‘bonus’ while another gives it back or pays for it? Why is it that one person realizes that an ‘innocent’ lunch with someone of the opposite sex, besides their spouse, is not a wise thing to do? Why is it that one person will keep the change and the other return it?
Have you ever wondered why a suicide bomber would kill themselves for a cause – drive a plane into the Twin Towers? A cause that they 100% believe in – but you know is wrong? Or why one person hangs onto ‘rightful’ anger when they have been wronged and another forgives? Or one person will take a gun into a school and shoot children, and they feel like they are doing the right thing – and you know that is wrong!
Where is the truth found in those differences? Have you ever thought – why do they think it’s ok but I know that it is wrong?
Think about a 2 or 3 year old. That beautiful perfect baby becomes a monster….they become selfish, say no to everything, cry when they don’t get their way, are bratty and downright miserable? Did we teach them that? NO! But, if we did not, who did? Where did all of that come from? Us? No way! Grandma? No way! Those thoughts, feelings, and actions are natural for that child….or should we say it’s their nature….their human nature. What they were born with. What we are ALL born with.
So, as adults, parents and grand parents, we teach them to share, act kindly, be a team player, not to throw food, to say please, and to eat their dinner before dessert. We teach them not to lie, or steal or cheat.
Why do we teach them those things? We teach them those things because we were taught those things….but how do we even know that the things we were taught are the correct things? I mean, what if you were never taught not to steal, share or say please? Or, what if you were taught that the color of a person’s skin, an accent, religion or a handicap makes a difference? Or taught how to steal without being caught? Or taught how to lie on an exam? Or how to find all the tax loopholes and capitalize on them all?
A person lives their lives with what they have learned and been taught. Teaching comes from us, teachers, social media, society, friends. Sometimes teaching is thru observed behavior (if dad hits mom then that must be ok or mom buys 1 in every color). What about the countries who teach their children to be fighters, to steal, rape and kill? Again, where is the truth found in those 2 differences?
Our parents were taught, their parents were taught….we were taught – BUT where did it all begin?
What does it do? What is its purpose? If you have ever used one than you know –
How things evolve…
Now, if you are old like me, you can think back to the TV protocol on couples in bed –
So, why does human nature or actions move with the whims of human thoughts and emotions? Why does our spending move with the whims of human thoughts and emotions? Why is it always ever changing and shifting? Like sand on a beach – never constant but ever changing from the winds and tides.
The answer – we are not using a plumb line. We have NO idea what is vertical and true. We have NO idea what is really right and wrong. Humans are not objective. They watch commercials – ‘Buy the car, get the girl’. ‘Buy the makeup, get the face’. ‘Buy the washer, get the happy family’. They listen to their friends. They watch what others do and think that it’s a great idea.
You can observe someone on a budget, spending wisely and saving for the future and think that is great….but do you do you adapt that same behavior? NO – because most people want what they want and they want it right NOW.
Or, what if someone told you that un-forgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die….and it has been suggested that you forgive. To call your brother. To call your dad. Or, what if someone told you that the foods you are eating are doing harm to your body and you might have a heart attack or diabetes? But you just don’t care – you will NOT forgive….and you will continue to eat what you want, when you want.
It all comes down to this – the only thoughts, actions and behaviors we will adopt are the ones that we want to adopt – the ones we choose to adopt- not necessarily the right and true ones.
How do you really and truly know? How do you know that society will not say something different in 20 years? How can you know for sure your actions are in alignment with a plumb line? How do you know if your thoughts are aligned? How do you find an objective answer? An answer that only has your own personal bests at heart.
The one and only plumb line –
There is one, and only one, true and steady plumb line that never changes, never moves, is NOT subjective – and that is God. Now hold on – don’t quit reading. Take a few minutes to think about it. The word of God is the same today as it was yesterday as it will be tomorrow. The word of God was written by inspired individuals. The accounts of Jesus were written by real men and eye witnesses.
Back in the day, way before the 10 Commandments (actually 600+ commandments) people would fight, steal, cheat, rape, murder – no one told them not to. Yes, most people knew that it was wrong, but they did it anyway. Because they could. And there were no consequences (or so they thought).
He created people. He loved His people. But they were out. of. control. So, He gave His people some rules. He knew way before time that His people would misbehave (He was not surprised) but, since His timing is His timing, He chose to give the rules to Moses. There are many that do not apply today but these do –
Do not cheat . The definition of cheat – act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage, especially in a game or examination – I.e – Do not fabricate your income taxes.
Do not steal. The definition of steal – take (another person's property) without permission or legal right and without intending to return it – I.e. – Do not take the extra donut. Return the change.
Do not murder. The definition of murder – the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another. There is no excuse for murder. No idea, no thought, no cult, no god, no political movement that says it is ok to murder – NO reason whatsoever.
There are many more ‘how to’s’ and ‘how not to’s’ in the Bible. Did you know that the Bible will tell you how to have a successful marriage or how to have a successful budget? Or how to raise your children. Or how to manage your anger, your anxiety and your worry. You should read it sometime – so many answers to all the questions.
As for me, whenever I need to make a decision I find out what the ‘Plumb Line of Truth’ has to say – and that is what I do. I don’t have to wonder whether or not it is right or wrong. Those complex decisions are out of my hands now. My life is so much easier now than it ever was. Do I still speed? Unfortunately yes. But, I will suffer the consequence of that when I get pulled over and get a ticket. I also have learned that ‘All authorities are put in place by God’. Hmmmm…….so my grumbling days about our politicians are over too. (that does not mean that I have to agree with all of their decisions!).
So, give it a go. See what God has to say on the matter. And live a life free of societal truths. Live a life with objective yes’s and no’s. Live a life that has less stress because you don’t have to figure out if you should or should not. Someone has figured that out for you already.
PS – A Jane Story….Years, and I mean years ago, I went to REI and bought a new backpack and a bunch of other small stuff. Rather than grabbing a shopping cart I put it all in the backpack while I was shopping. Upon check out I told the cashier that I had items in the pack and she took it all out and rang it up. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized she did not ring up the pack, about $89, and I immediate thought ‘SCORE’ – a free backpack. Why did I think that? Was it wrong on my part or the cashiers fault for not noticing the mistake. At that time it was the fault of the store….I DID tell her didn’t I….so their loss was my gain. And I thought for sure that I was 100% correct.
I had completely forgotten about the REI right after I got the ‘free’ back pack. Out of sight…out of mind, RIGHT?! Years later, as I was studying the Word of God, it came back to me in my quiet time. I kept saying to myself – ‘that incident is way in my past, it did not matter anymore, and who really cared?’ But, God had different plans for me. Because He cares….all the time.
As it turns out, I was trying to buy a jacket for my daughter for Christmas on line (because I hate to shop). It was sold out everywhere except for….you guessed it….REI. And then for some crazy reason, I could not have the jacket shipped to my house – I had to GO PICK IT UP!! I was hearing God loud and clear! So, I went to the store, picked up my jacket, and asked to speak to the manager. I had $100 in my hand and was so nervous I could hardly talk (if you know me you know that is not very characteristic). I told him my story, gave him the cash and left. And then I called my great friend, Lyn, and told her I crossed another hurdle and move a bit closer to my personal relationship with God.
The ‘plumb line of truth’ had my back. Knew what I needed. Let me make a mistake….and then paved the way for me to know the truth.
Whose truth are you listening to? Your mom? Dad? Bank? Friends? How is that working out for you?