Two things are to be guarded against in yearning for the truth: anger and lukewarmness. For whichever befalls it, it is an injury to the truth.
- Colman mac Beognai, Aipgitir Chrabaid (Irish, 7th century)
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him...Refrain yourself from anger, and forsake wrath...those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land.
- Psalm 37.7-9
Here's how this works, at least, in me: As I see the truth of God denied, reviled, and repudiated in the world, and minimized, manipulated, and wrested within the Church, I start to get angry. I get angry because it's so frustrating wanting people to know and love the truth and seeing that, like Bartleby the Scrivener, they prefer not.
Then, as I hear the lies spewed out by politicians, representatives of the media, and Christianity's cultured detractors, I get angrier and angrier, and I want to give someone a piece of my mind.
Which almost never accomplishes anything, I know; so I just tap away at my columns and books and newsletters and work my mentoring and courses, trying to be content with the idea that this is where God has assigned me to serve the cause of truth.
But as I see the coolness of believers toward the truth, I occasionally slide into a "What's the use?" frame of mind. At such times I look out the window, longing for the leisure of a bankrolled poet. I just want to forget about everything I'm doing - which, at such times, doesn't seem to be igniting much interest in God's truth - and just indulge my one great literary joy.
Neither way - anger or lukewarmness - gets me any closer to the truth or the truth any closer to the people I'm called to serve.
The proper attitudes to nurture toward truth are diligence, resoluteness, and hope. Only the Spirit of God can give us these, so we need to look to Him continually or we'll fall into anger or despair in our quest to serve the cause of truth. And anger and despair - lukewarmness - don't help the cause of truth.
Waiting on the Lord: that helps the cause of truth. Resisting the tendency to become angry and waiting on the Lord in all your activities: this is the way to truth and for making truth known.
Pray for your friends who are followers of Christ, that His truth will consume them and they will give themselves diligently, resolutely, and hopefully to know and proclaim the truth that sets us free.
And while you're praying, pray for yourself - and for me - as well.