At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16: 11)
“Buy the truth, and sell it not; Also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.”Proverbs 23:23
Truth matters, and it matters big time.
This proverb starts there. Buy the truth, and once you have bought it, hang on to it. Don’t even think about selling. When you have bought the truth, you need to have done so in order to acquire a permanent possession.
What this means is that subjectivism, which amounts to sentimentalism, is prohibited to the person who would walk in biblical wisdom. Truth is objective. It is independent of our feelings, and does not require our affirmation in order to remain what it is.
And so we are justified in believing that this proverb teaches us that truth is very, very important. Relativism is false. It is not possible to serve God honestly and rightly apart from the truth. Truth matters.
But it is not the only thing that matters, and many truth-oriented churches get stuck here. The proverb goes on. Also, it says. Three additional things are mentioned, things which need to be used to supplement our possession of the truth. These three things are wisdom, instruction, and understanding. And although I used the word supplement, it is much more than supplemental. Without these things that arrive with the also, truth is not going to remain truth for very long.
Wisdom is the crown of all learning. It is not just knowledge, and not just understanding. It is the grace to know how all of it should be expressed, how it should all be lived out. What is the incarnational form of the truth? Instruction means that the one who possesses truth does not possess all truth, and must always be willing to learn more. The one who believes in absolute truth is not precluded from being someone who is always learning. And understanding means knowing how it is all to be assembled—how all the pieces go together.
Churches which cling to a set of naked truths do collide with our relativistic age, but they do so ineffectively. They have a clunkity clunkity approach to truth, which is not up to the challenge posed by the deep fog of relativism.
Truth matters, and has pulled into your driveway. Receive the truth of God into your homes . . . provided it is traveling in company. Are wisdom, instruction, and understanding in the back seat?