“My Truth”

Ignatian Spiritual Exercises
Week of Prayer #22
Jesus — Human and Divine

“My truth.” This cultural phrase that is thrown around a lot. I sincerely believe that there is a dual understanding of “my truth.” There is the aspect of “my truth” as something I have created that justifies the illusion created by my false self. It is a self-created truth of the reality about myself. This is the reality whether the person claims to be Christian or not, though I think this comes more from the not-yet believer. 

But there is also a seeking for “my truth” in the phrase. There is an inherent desire in all of us to know the truth about who we are. So when I speak of “my truth,” I am speaking about the searching that I am doing to know the truth of who I am, though I may not fully understand this as the person God created me to be.

Which side of “my truth” I lean to may be determined by how defensive I am about “my truth.”

Insert into these ponderings about “my truth” this radical statement Jesus makes:

“I am the way, the truth and the life.”

There is so much to consider in these opening verses of John 14, but for the moment I am dwelling with this audacious statement, and in particular the middle

“I am the truth.”

I am not aware of anyone in the history of humanity who has identified him or herself with truth as Jesus does here. And Jesus does not say, “I am a truth” or “I am a version of truth” or “I have discovered truth.” By using the definite article “the,” Jesus stakes His claim on the entirety of what truth is and says

“I am the truth.”

For anyone in Christ, Jesus’ “I am the way, the truth and the life” becomes, 

“You are my way, 
You are my truth, 
You are my life.”

This acknowledges that what is true about me, is true because it is what God says is true about me. Jesus Himself becomes the truth of who I am. Now everything about me is held up to the standard of what God says is true about me. A deep inner awareness begins to emerge of who I am as created in the image of God. In aligning myself with this Truth, I discover that I am not making myself be something.

I am instead experiencing who I already am. 

There is a great deal of freedom and open-heartedness here. I no longer have to hide the parts of myself that do not measure up to “my truth.” These inconsistencies I feel compelled to hide, and thus I have a part of myself that I have to protect. It is a rather difficult and challenging cycle. I decide what “my truth” is based on the image my ego-self is creating, which I assert to the world around me. At the same time I am hiding the parts of my life that do not align with or measure up to “my truth.” I want to protect my image and appear better than I really am. These flaws in my character remain hidden because I perceive that they are the problem. If I can just get rid of these, then I will be ok. But these persistent flaws are not the problem. They are symptoms to the ego-self running the show. Deceitful as the ego-self can be, “my truth” seems to be the only truth available to me, so I keep doing the best I can with protecting this illusory image of myself. 

Jesus’ statement stands in stark contrast to this struggle. In John 8, Jesus rightly says the truth shall set you free.

If you continue in My word, 
you are truly my disciples, 
and you will know the truth 
and the truth will make you free. 
(John 8:31-32)

Jesus imparts the truth of who I am because the truth of who I am is found in who Jesus is. I cannot be who I am, who I was created to be, apart from the abiding awareness of God-with-me. God does not depart from His image placed in me. It is only as I acknowledge God-with-me that I receive the truth of who I am. When I acknowledge “Jesus is my truth,” I experience in growing measure the reality of who I truly am. Now everything I understand about myself and everything the world says about me is measured against, “Jesus is my truth.”

There are situations in my life that activate the false-self defense mechanisms. I become offended by something, usually a relational issue of some kind that brings it all to the surface. I become so offended that I block out any possibility of grace. I think these kinds of situations can help me to see that I am living from the version of “my truth” that I have created. Then God speaks into this and says, “Can you extend grace for the sake of something that could happen beyond what you are able to see?” God is inviting me to live from “Jesus is my truth.” It is a cataclysmic shift in my perception of reality. 

This reveals an emerging value that I am experiencing that is becoming increasingly important to me. There is a freedom that comes from an open, vulnerable heart. The moment I have to hide something or protect myself in some way, I lose this. When there are parts of me that I need to keep hidden, I also begin to hide and protect myself. This takes so much energy. And it ultimately cuts me off from the unity experienced in community, the very thing for which I was created. I cannot experience the joy of that unity when I am busy hiding and protecting myself. 

Maintaining an open heart has become such a priority for me as I desire to be connected and to be known in the body of Christ. Not just a superficial knowledge, but to be known by others as God knows me. This is truly a gift of grace. Revealing these areas of my life becomes a way of disabling the “my truth” reality I am living in, and embracing the freedom of “Jesus is my truth.” 

You are
my WAY,
my TRUTH, 
my LIFE. 


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