“Mom, how often should I wash my clothes?”
My daughter was beginning her college life by living in one of the campus dormitories. Prior to this, she only occasionally washed her own clothes; now she was independent and needed to budget her time. The first agenda item, what is the frequency of washing?
My wife was about to answer but I interrupted. “Sweetheart, my cousin gave me very good advice about this when he was in college.”
“What did he say?”
“His roommates informed him that when his shorts could stand in the corner, it was time to wash them. He then showed me a photograph of his shorts actually standing in the corner!”
“Gross!” came the simultaneous response from my daughter and wife.
“You may not have to wait that long,” I smirked. “If you did, your roommates may report you.”
Every day we hear numerous witticisms and aphorisms designed to give us practical advice. Who hasn’t heard of the “Three Second Rule” affirming that it is safe to eat any food that has fallen on the floor, as long as it is picked up in less than three seconds? Not surprisingly, this was debunked by a medical study that examined the quantity and types of bacteria that are found on the food that fell on the floor. It was teeming with dangerous bacteria, regardless of the time spent on the floor. The bottom line, don’t do it!
There is never a dearth of sources willing to give advice. We need to be willing to scrutinize the sources and vet the statements. Our spiritual lives should be no different. Self-proclaimed prophets, new age religions, manipulation of biorhythms-it can make anyone’s head spin attempting to synthesize and decipher the maze of advice, much of it contradictory. What can we do to resolve this? How can we know what is Truth?
The great apologist C.S. Lewis wrote in his classic treatise, Mere Christianity, “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?”
We need to have an absolute standard of Truth. Nothing that man proposes will ever fulfill this criterion. It must come from outside of man, outside of this world, even outside this universe. Only an omnipotent God can give us this Truth.
…If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
John 8:31-32 (ESV)
The absolute revelation of Truth is found in Jesus Christ. When we confess and repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we will know the absolute Truth. Jesus further promises us that if we abide and obey His commandments, we will always know the Truth, being able to rightly discern right from wrong.
I will choose this Truth over dirty shorts standing in the corner!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.