When engaging in Truth Discovery (i.e., Intelligence Gathering and Analysis), you are ultimately forced to trust someone that you don’t know very well. And, for a cynical and suspicious guy like me, that is a very, very difficult thing to do. But, I am forced to engage in a certain amount of trust, because the alternative is to learn nothing – and THAT is not acceptable.
When Jesus used the word ‘watch’ in Luke 21:36, He meant more than reading your Bible and looking out the window. He meant that you need to see and understand what is happening in the world and compare those events with scripture. But, unless you are actually ‘on the front lines’ as a direct observer of EVERYTHING that is going on… (think of the frequent flyer miles!) …you must trust someone, at some level, as a source of information.
So, who do you trust? And, how much do you trust them?
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Who Can You Trust?
I’m extending my discussion of ‘levels’ from yesterday, and this means that we are at ‘level 4’ in our hierarchy of truth discovery.
Level 4 – People
Ultimately, you need to trust someone, at some level. Again, the question is, who and how much. Take me as an example. Can you trust me?
Seriously, I’m not completely certain that you can. I’m a very flawed person who has made lots of mistakes in the past, so the idea of placing your trust upon myself… well, that completely scares me to death. Do not do that. So, maybe we should narrow our focus a Little bit.
Can you trust my honesty?
Okay, that’s progress.
Why can you (mostly) trust my honesty?
Because I know that if I lie to you, I will be judged by God for that – either in this life, or the next. One day, I will stand before God and have to answer for every stupid thing that I’ve ever done. Yes, God forgave me for all of that, but we will still answer for it. What do we call this?
The Fear of God.
Do a quick search of the Bible for the term fear of God, and you will find a wealth of information. Wise and Godly men and women fear God. But, is that the only reason why I’m (mostly) honest?
What did Jesus say would be the singular characteristic that would show the world that we are His disciples?
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. – John 13:35
What is the greatest commandment of all the law?
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. – Matthew 22:37
And, we call this…
The Love of God and My Neighbor.
So, fear keeps me from lying to you, and love encourages me to tell you the truth.
So, you can trust me, right?
Hmmmm… not so fast.
Honesty is NOT Enough
Honesty is NOT an indicator of wisdom or knowledge. Honesty doesn’t mean that I know what I’m talking about. So, how do you know… that I know… what I’m talking about?
I’ve been told that my I.Q. is pretty high. Is that good enough?
Nope. Lots of intelligent fools out there – in fact, the list of intelligent fools is very, Very, VERY long.
Would it help if I told you about my educational background?
That might help a little bit, but you would need to know that I’ve fully recovered from the eight years of brainwashing at Butler University and Indiana University. (And yes, I really do have a Butler MBA.)
But, my experience as a financial adviser and my 15 years living at geopolitical ground zero (Jerusalem), well… I think THAT is worth much more. Plus, I can do math. Really, you’d be surprised at how important that is.
A Multitude of Counsellors
But, you can also trust me because there are other wise and knowledgeable brothers and sisters in Christ who agree with what I have to say.
Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety. – Proverbs 11:14
That is valuable advice from the second wisest king who ever lived. (Jesus will always be number one.) Always seek safety in second, third and even fourth opinions.
And, there is an old Russian proverb about trusting someone, that goes like this:
Доверяй, но проверяй
Oh, I’m sorry. I forgot that you don’t read Russian. Of course, I don’t either, so here it is in English:
Trust, but verify.
or: Doveryai, no proveryai.
That phrase was made famous by Ronald Reagan who used it everywhere. But, I think that the Bible says it best:
…but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.
Do NOT trust me alone. Trust NO ONE by themselves. Verify EVERYTHING. Have a ‘multitude of counsellors’.
Most important of all, go to our Father and ask HIM for direction. He will direct you through the Holy Spirit – if you have invested your life in faith and the knowledge of God. If you are directed by the Holy Spirit, any truth that we (your ‘multitude of counsellors’) have told you… well, it will make sense – if it’s true. (Although, it might take time to ‘sink in’.)
Ultimately, that is what it all comes down to. If what we tell you fits with what you know, it will make sense. And, it will make sense because you are guided by God and did your homework.
It might take a while for it to make sense. You might need to do your own research to verify what we’re telling you. You may even be like myself, needing to be forced to acknowledge the truth against your will. But, in the end, it will make sense.
Just be careful. There’s not a lot of time left for you to verify the truth of what we are telling you. In fact, if there is a terrorist attack at the opening ceremonies to the Winter Olympics at Sochi this Friday…
Well, you might only have a few days to make sense of it all.
If you find a flaw in my reasoning, have a question, or wish to add your own viewpoint, leave a comment. Your input is truly welcome.
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