I attended a women’s retreat earlier this year, and one night everyone in the room was asked to share one positive thing about themselves.
If I can be honest, I really dread moments like that. Mostly because I don’t like bragging but also because I get social anxiety like you wouldn’t believe when I have to speak in front of people. Even if it’s just a few words said in a casual setting. Before it was my turn to talk, my heart began rapidly pounding inside my chest, and my palms began to sweat.
“Okay, Selwa. It’s your turn.”
“What? What are we doing again? I wasn’t listening.” (That was a lie. I was stalling in a frantic attempt to figure out what I was going to say.)
“Say one positive thing about yourself.”
“Ugh…do I have to?”
“Yes! We know it’s hard. That’s the point.”
“Okay. I would say that I highly value truth.”
“Do you mean that you’re brutally honest?”
“Um … yes. I am brutally honest.”
That’s not really what I meant though. While I can be brutally honest, what I really meant by that statement (after I had some time to ponder it) was that knowing the truth is very important to me.
I have been an avid truth-seeker for as long as I can remember. I was one of a handful of people who would constantly dig deep into Scripture and ask the hard questions, even when I was in high school just after coming into the faith. Questions like:
“What did Jesus really mean when he said “I have come only for the lost sheep of the house of Israel?”
“Why did Jesus teach the disciples to keep his commandments, but it sounds like Paul is against such things?”
“Why did God put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden if he didn’t want Adam and Eve to eat the fruit?”
I am always seeking to know the truth. I crave it. I love getting to the bottom of it so much that it actually excites me when I hear a perspective on something that could potentially turn everything I thought I knew about that subject on its head. While many might be hurt and angry to learn they were “wrong”—to the point of pride and complete denial—I want you to prove me me wrong if it means I find truth, because, not to be cliché, but as we’ve all heard many times before: the truth …
… will set you FREE.
Who doesn’t want freedom?!
This often requires a willingness to hear multiple, conflicting, and seemingly CRAZY perspectives on subjects that most people would say we should not even be discussing. Things like:
“YHWH’s Torah was never abolished. It’s still as relevant and applicable to us today as it was to the people of Israel. In fact…
We are Israel … the lost sheep that Yahshua came for.”
“Yahshua wasn’t born on December 25th … so why do we celebrate his birthday then? Actually, there’s evidence to suggest he could have been born on September 11 (a.k.a. one of the most tragic days in human history).”
“Jesus is the antichrist, and Israel is the whore of Babylon.” (Before you crucify me for those statements, it’s not what you think. Yes, I follow the Messiah, and no I’m not anti-Semitic … far from it. Follow those links, watch the videos, and you’ll see what I mean.)
“The entertainment industry is run by a bunch of Satanic pedophiles who exercise mind control over their victims.”
“The ‘Sons of God’ in Genesis 6 are fallen angels who mated with the daughters of men and produced a hybrid race of offspring known as Nephalim (also called giants).”
“The Nephalim may be coming back soon … in the form of an alien invasion / false rapture that’s sure to deceive many.”
Am I presenting all of these ideas as though they are absolute truth? NO.
Let me just state that again, because I want to be clear: I am NOT stating that the above is TRUTH. What I am saying is that I won’t rule anything out just because it sounds like “crazy conspiracy theory.” I believe it’s important to research and consider all sides of a theory, no matter how insane or conspiratorial it may sound. No, you can’t believe everything you see or read on the Internet, but YouTube can still be a valuable resource if you dig deep enough (always keeping in mind that you can’t believe everything you see or read on the Internet.)
That said, I also believe we can get into dangerous territory if we allow our minds to embrace such ideas as though they are truth without searching out the matter completely—a task, which could take a lifetime or longer. And it gets even more risky when we become so consumed with our quest that it compromises our relationship with the one who gave us a thirst for truth in the first place.
I’ll discuss that in more depth in my next post, but first, let me answer the question that’s probably lingering in your head: what does all this have to do with repentance?
That is the subject of this blog series, after all.
And my response to that is another question: are you willing to consider and even examine perspectives that lay outside the bounds of your logical mind because they seem too crazy to be true? If not, then I would challenge you to re-think, or put another way, to “re-pent” — to change your mind about that. Or to at least be willing to. In the words of Aristotle:
“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
Just because someone is exploring these ideas doesn’t mean they are accepting them as truth. As long as we heed the voice of the Spirit in our quest, we won’t be led astray.
As I mentioned before, because I’m such an avid truth-seeker, I’m willing to consider that everything I think I know now could be proven wrong many years from now, or even tomorrow. In fact, such a prospect excites me!
Are you excited to be proven wrong in your quest for truth?
This post is Day 9 in my 40 Days of Repentance series. Click here to read day 8.