One of the most powerful forces in this world is "truth." This word comes from an old Germanic word that indicates "to be firm," or "to be steadfast," or "to be solid."
In our modern, Westernized culture, we've diluted this word to mean whatever we want it to mean. Or in other words, "What is true for you is not true for me." We make our own little "truths," going around saying things such as "Stay true to yourself" and "You make your own truth."
Even in ancient times, it looked like people had problems in defining the word "truth." There's an incident in the Bible where Jesus was brought before Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea who served during Emperor Tiberius from around 26 to 36 A.D., and Pilate asked Jesus if he was supposed to be the "king of the Jews." Of course, Pilate thought nothing more of this Jesus than that he was another political, zealous nut claiming to be somebody. Jesus told him that everyone who is on the side of "truth" will listen to him, to which Pilate replies, "What is truth?" (John 18:37-38).
Well, instead of trying to define it, let me tell you what truth could enable you to do. Truth empowers you. It makes you confident. It makes you "solid, firm, steadfast," if we're staying "true" to the Germanic meaning of the word "truth."
One time when I was working at Macy's in New York City, someone accused me of possibly stealing money from a cash register. I was escorted to the loss prevention office in this store, and there I was interrogated by the loss prevention director. Understand that this Macy's on 34th Street had its own jail cell! If found guilty, they had every right to hold me in their slammer until the cops came.
The charge was that I stole $10 from the cash register. I was tempted, due to fear, to offer him $10 even though I didn't steal it. This man pressed hard with his thick, Italian New York accent (well, he looked Italian at least), trying to get me to confess, but I stood my ground. I didn't steal it and I wasn't going to confess to something I didn't do. Now, I wasn't bold about it, because I was scared about going to jail, losing my job, and who knows what else. But I FEEBLY, with weak knees, stood my ground. After seeing that I didn't break, he became a nice guy and explained to me what he was doing. Then he told me, "If you tell the truth, you won't have anything to worry about."
Recently, I told a police officer at my church about that incident, and he told me the rights I had where I could have been even more bold in that confrontation. Back then, however, I didn't know what rights I had -- but, the one thing that made me hold my ground was the truth.
See, it doesn't matter what people say to you. It doesn't matter what people think of you. People's opinions are really meaningless. What matters is the truth -- because the truth will make you stand.
As a fitness instructor, the one thing I try to do is approach people when I see them make some positive changes. I would say things like, "I could tell you're slimming down" or "Your legs are toning up" or "Wow! Look at those shoulders!" And I am not general in my comments. I get specific about my observations. Recently, one of my Body Sculpt Challenge participants came to ZUMBA class and I noticed that her legs looked more toned. I approached her and specifically told her that I could see her quadriceps (thigh muscles) taking shape. See, if you look at your ownself, you may think there is no difference, but when a fitness instructor tells you something, then believe it! You know that instructor tells the truth, and with that truth, you could be CONFIDENT that you are going down the right path.
In this world, you'll get hit with all types of lies. Some of those lies might make you feel good, but they won't make you feel confident -- maybe because deep down, you know they're lies. Ever had that feeling before? Ever had someone tell you something that made you feel good, but you also felt that it wasn't completely true? See, you know what is a lie or what doesn't seem like the truth. But when the "true truth" appears, then not only do you feel good about it, but you also feel SOLID.
I've won awards before, but not all awards made me feel solid. This is why I am truly against participation awards -- which are really nothing more than giving awards to everybody so that everybody could feel good. One time in a high school biology class, my teacher gave out an award to everybody in class. It felt...weird. I wasn't sure why I even got that award. It was nice to have, but I know that I didn't earn it.
Then a few years ago, I got an award from my old gym called "Rookie of the Year." That award did feel good, because I know that I've earned it. I wasn't trying to get an award, but of all the work that I've done at the gym, I know that award actually meant something. It made me feel SOLID, FIRM, STEADFAST.
Sometimes, the truth could make you feel bad, but you'll eventually be thankful to hear that truth. With my daughter, she's an aspiring artist, and since her father is also an artist, I am going to be hard on her. If she asks me if I like one of her drawings, I WILL say no if I don't like it. I'm so hard on her that I forbid her from drawing stick figures and doing any tracing. Why? Because she has real potential, and as long as she keeps practicing, she will be so good that she could sell her drawings and make money. To this day, she practices her drawings everyday. She wants her own YouTube channel where she could show her work. I even told her that if she gives me good work, I'll donate my professional art tools to her, to which she was excited about.
When I tell her the truth about the quality of her work, no, she doesn't feel good about it. But she knows that I'm pushing her to take her work seriously, and eventually she will thank me, especially when I grant her the right to get on YouTube.
The truth doesn't just make you feel good or bad. The truth EMPOWERS. As Jesus once said, "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32). Once truth comes into your life, everything starts to make sense. A veil will lift from your eyes. You will see things that you haven't seen before. You will be able to do things that you haven't done before. You will have strong assurance to walk in a direction that you were scared to walk in.
As that loss prevention director said, when you tell the truth, you won't have to worry about anything. I was scared and vulnerable in that man's presence, but the truth kept me strong. See, lies can't do that. A lie would only get you so far, but then it will abandon you. The truth, however, will pick you up and carry you when you feel that you can't go on.
This world has been destroyed because of lies. These lies become so strong that they make people delusional, making them believe in something that isn't true. But being delusional will bring your destruction. When the truth comes into your life, then you could be set free from any shackles that the lies had bound you in.
What is holding you hostage? What is keeping you from progressing? Whatever it is, break free from that by seeking the truth. Don't try to "make your own truth," which is nothing more than lying to yourself. Seek the actual truth, the truth that will make you stand when everything else comes crumbling down.
All information in this blog are for inspirational purposes only. Unless otherwise stated, all content is written and copyrighted by Aiyo A. Jones.