Truth: Part 2 – Relative Truth

Let’s understand this from the start. There are two kinds of truth, relative and absolute.

Relative truth is something that is true for me but may not be for someone else or something that is true at this instant but might not be tomorrow.. You might ask “How can this be? Something is either true or it is not. It can’t be both true and false!” To this I respond, “au contraire mon ami!” (Translated that means “on the contrary my friend” or “not true dude!”) For example, when I was about fourteen years old, I wanted to have an income of my own. I had already tried working in a poodle kennel – a topic for another day – and found that to be really nasty. So, I made a list of things I could do that would be more to my liking. Things like pick fruit, sell vegetable seeds, toss bails of hay on farmers’ wagons, and baby sit. None of these suited me either for one reason or another, and yes I tried them all. Then, I came up with a brainstorm. I knew how much I hated mowing the lawn. I even developed an allergic reaction to grass so that I wouldn’t have to do it at home. Obviously, most other people must feel the same way so if I could overcome my own dislike of mowing I could probably make a fortune mowing their lawns. So, long story short, I found some customers and began earning my fortune.

One of my customers was a single woman, probably mid thirties in age. After I finished mowing her lawn one time, we had a conversation that changed my life. In the course of our discussion she found out that I was very involved in the church my family attended and that I wanted Christianity to be a significant part of my life. She said she could tell that I was a very nice young man and that I set the course of my life on a wonderful path. Then she asked me a question that I wasn’t sure how to answer. She asked, “What do you think sin is?” I remember testing different answers in my mind, trying to find one that would satisfy her. Finally, I settled on this “Sin is choosing not to follow what one believes to be the will of God. I believe what is sin for one person may not be sin for another” This is the first time I ever seriously thought about one of the major questions in of this life. You know, the question of right and wrong or true and false. Today, I might have phrased my answer differently. I might have responded “Sin is choosing not to see or accept the truth revealed in God. I believe that what is truth to one person may not be truth to another.” For example, I have red-green color blindness. This means I see the world differently than most other people. So, when someone looks at a rose bush and says “what beautiful red roses!”, I might say (in my head of course) “Not so my friend, those are beautiful green roses!” Because we legitimately perceive the world differently, we have a different truth. That is relative truth. Of course, this gives rise to a new question. Are there truths that everyone sees the same? We’ll address this in the next post!


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