Nothing But the Truth
As part of the team that wrote the Spirit of a Forester language in 2019, Nicole is sharing the heart behind each of the seven Forester traits and their practical applications. Today’s trait: Foresters Explore Truth
Can I tell you the honest truth? Writing about the “chases truth” Forester trait is tricky, more difficult (for me at least) than many of the other Forester traits. I’ve been writing about the Spirit of a Forester for years, yet right now I’m carefully considering every word I write. And I think that’s a good thing. I wouldn’t want to handle the truth lightly.
Here’s what I know so far. In all of my musings about truth, two central questions emerge:
Why do we have to “chase” truth in the first place?
What does “chasing truth” look like in real life?
Let’s consider the first question first. When we wrote the Spirit of a Forester language, we chose to use the verb chases because it implied a feeling of forward motion. There is a truth out there for us to discover, and we are running toward it with intentionality and focus.
At the same time, we are not implying that truth is unobtainable. Instead, we recognize that our understanding of truth grows as we chase it. There is always more to learn. There are new insights to find, old biases to challenge, and new perspectives to consider.
Which brings us to the second question: What does “chasing truth” actually look like in real life? To illustrate, let’s look at a personal example.
I have built my career so far on my identity as a writer. I wasn’t always a professional writer, though. Many years ago, my path to my current identity began with a simple thought I had as a child — “I like writing.” This was my core truth. Over time, this truth grew up with me. I added new layers as I learned more about myself and who God made me to be.
My progression looked something like this.
I like writing.
I like writing books and poems and giving them to people as gifts.
I like writing and have a talent for it.
I like writing and can use my writing skills in my career.
I like writing and can help people with what I write.
I like writing and can teach others how to write well.
Do you see the pattern? In each new life stage, I discovered a new truth about myself and what I am capable of accomplishing with the gifts God has given me. Each new truth, however, grew out of the core truth that I discovered as a child: “I like writing.”
As a writer, as a human, and as a Forester, I’m still chasing truth in my own life. What I know to be true about who God has made me and what He has called me to do as a Christian have not fundamentally changed. But with each passing year, I am growing in my understanding of how to live out this truth.
I love how Paul describes the process of chasing truth at the conclusion of 1 Corinthians 13. His description emphasizes the fact that our concept of truth is always incomplete but growing. On this side of eternity, we continue to grow so that one day we will fully understand the truth of God’s love for us. Paul writes, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).
What a great reminder! God already knows the full truth about who I am and who He is. My job is to chase truth so that I can grow closer to His level of understanding — and, in the process, closer to Christ. Even when the journey is difficult, truth is my objective and my delight, until I am at last face to face with the full Truth.